For a glimpse at the future of all things Google, you can stream the event live via the video below and on Google s event site.Follow along with us during I/O on Twitter @VentureBeat when Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage at 10 a.m. PDT 1 p.m. EDT .you should follow them, too!The company already released two developer previews of the OS over the last few months this is unusually early for Google , revealing some of the new features planned, like notification improvements, split-screen modes, launcher shortcuts, and a new 3D rendering API.Android VR: After toying with Cardboard for ages — an entertaining, but so-far super low-quality VR experience when compared to its pricer counterparts — Google s rumored Android VR could shake up the industry in a big way, if it ends up being announced today.In an interview earlier this month, Google s head of VR, Clay Bavor, teased the company s next steps:Android VR could end up being a platform, headset, or both.And a few days ago, a placeholder on Google s developer site seemed to officially confirm Android VR s existence.Android Wear: As TechCrunch pointed out, there s an entire panel at I/O dedicated to What s new in Android Wear, Google s smartwatch OS.So far the OS has not blown us away.Project Chirp: Google may be working on its answer to Echo, the surprisingly well-received speaker box that ships with Amazon s personal assistant, Alexa Alexa is like Apple s Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft s Cortana .So far the New York Times, Recode, and the Information have all reported on various aspects of alleged product, which may be a reaction to the Echo s early success though Amazon won t share how many Echoes it s sold .Other stuff: More fun rumors and reports include a big update to Project Tango, signs of Android and Chrome OS convergence, some sort of update to Android Pay, and maybe even something in the realm of messaging and chatbots.
From virtual reality to bringing the next 1 billion people online, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is all about big ideas these days.His latest brainstorm was trotted out at F8 this year: opening Facebook s Messenger to chatbots.The primary challenge is fragmentation and a lack of standardization, said Jon Cifuentes, a research analyst for VentureBeat Insight.And I tried TechCrunch s newsbot, which sent me a news summary each day that just seemed like a basic newsletter I can already get via email.All fine.It s certainly artificial, but there s a notable lack of intelligence.Cyber Galaktioni Chat Bot tries to simulate the mind of the poet, all his answers are based on his writings, biography, memories and letters.Until we see broader adoption from consumers — and really, better chatbots that help people, there s no need for search and discovery right now.
It s based on existing technology, including Google Now.The assistant will power Google s upcoming Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home.Speaking at the beginning of the keynote at the Google I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, Google chief executive Sundar Pichai described the technology as a conversational assistant that can carry on an ongoing two-way dialogue.We want to be there for our users asking them, How can I help?'Pichai said.The technology is voice-activated and available across devices, but the interface is packaged up inside of a chatbot — something like, say, Facebook Messenger s M. We are getting ready to launch something later this year, Pichai said.The Google Assistant is built into the Allo mobile messaging app, which is also being introduced today.Over the years Google has amassed a whole lot of AI talent and technology.And the systems are regularly improving — last year at I/O Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said Google s speech recognition technology was down to an 8 percent word error rate.Indeed, today Pichai said that 1 in every 5 Google search queries on Android in the U.S. is a voice query.But even though Google s AI technology represents value for the company internally, in the past year Google has shared some of that technology with the rest of the world as open source code.Now it s clear that Google is a few steps ahead of Apple.Earlier this week The Information reported that Google would give third-party developers access to speech recognition, some aspects of the Google Now personal digital assistant, and Android s Google Now On Tap feature for recognizing known entities mentioned in text onscreen and providing explanations and relevant links.While the world s biggest technology companies have been fixated on chatbots lately, the whole idea itself is not new.Voice-activated assistants like the Alexa-powered Amazon Echo speaker are another emerging medium, but currently bots seem more likely to be adopted by the masses.
Android VR, Chrome, self-driving cars, chatbots, and all kinds of other fun stuff.Google is going to tell us what the company has in store for the year—and many years— ahead.Streaming the event is incredibly simple.Just feast your eyeballs on the YouTube livestream below.If you re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also watch this livestream with Google Cardboard or whatever VR headset you might have laying about.Take a look at our I/O expectations and get ready for an afternoon full of exciting talk about the future.
Forget about chatbots, Google's baking its digital assistant right into your life.Google Assistant—a new smart assistant announced by CEO Sundar Pichai at Google I/O 2016—weaves together the complex information that Google already has about the world and the detailed information that the company already has about you to create a helpful voice-driven AI that revolves around your world.while standing in front of a famous sculpture with your phone, and the bot is able to mix location data and image recognition to identify exactly what you re looking at and provide the answer in seconds.and the Assistant pulled up results of films that Google thinks he would like, playing at his local movie theater.Follow-up questions—all delivered in natural language, using commands like Is it any good?—let him refine the search to kid-friendly movies, and even buy tickets to his chosen show.
MOUNTAIN VIEW — Google is getting in on the bots game, joining Facebook and Microsoft.This summer, the search giant plans to launch a new messaging app called Allo, Google representatives announced at the company s I/O developer conference on Wednesday.The app incorporates Google s intelligent assistant technology and is to allow users to accomplish more things without having to launch other apps.By simply typing questions or commands within Allo, users will be able to make dinner reservations, check sports scores, find photos or check their flight reservations.So it can understand the context questions are asked in.So, in one demonstration, Google representatives showed how users could use Allo to find information about soccer star Cristano Ronaldo and then get Allo to find videos of him by just typing best tricks.The Google assistant was able to glean that the user was interested in seeing videos of Ronaldo from the context of the conversation.Google s move into text bots follows Facebook and Microsoft.Meanwhile, Facebook at its F8 conference last month unveiled similar features that are coming to its popular Messenger app.Bots have the potential to make it less important which operating system users have on their smartphones.Troy Wolverton/Mercury News Tags: allo, bots, chatbots, facebook, Google, intelligent assistants, Messenger, Microsoft, Skype, the google assistant
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Google is betting it can outsmart rivals on new products—from virtual assistants to messaging apps—with advances in artificial intelligence, technology that helps computers make decisions rather than follow instructions.To Google, its new assistant is the next iteration of search, part of an effort to further entrench itself in users daily lives by answering users queries directly rather than pointing them to other sources.Many of the offerings Google touted Wednesday follow similar products made by rivals: Google Home, a voice-controlled device that resembles an air freshener, follows Inc. AMZN 0.31 % s Echo.Google also provided more detail about its coming version of Android, which still lacks a name, saying it has more than 250 new features.Some updates include enhanced security, a split-screen mode and the ability to change emojis skin color.—Nathan Olivarez-Giles contributed to this article.
Today Google revealed that it s developing a powerful chatbot that will be able to answer people s questions and carry out certain tasks.The Google Assistant will be able to respond to voice queries, not just text input, making it more accessible than the M virtual assistant in Facebook s Messenger app.That s great, and I m excited about using it across many devices, including the Google Home speaker that was announced today.But the overall Google Assistant strategy is missing something.See, in today s keynote, Google executives showed how the Google Assistant could do things while relying on many third-party tools, and not just Google s own existing capabilities: buying movie tickets, purchasing and delivering food, getting updates on travel plans, displaying restaurants to visit, making and changing dinner reservations, sending text messages, offering miniature games to play, and providing status updates on deliveries.But when you re using the Google Assistant, the interaction is nearly always with Google — when you tell it to buy movie tickets, for example, you re not talking to a Fandango bot.There are already Messenger bots for 1-800-Flowers and online retail Spring, and there are Skype bots for Westin Hotels & Resorts and Domino s Pizza.In Google s bot world, there is one lone bot, and that is Google — interactions with other services are brief.You could defend this model by saying that it will be simpler for users — you don t have to jump from bot to bot, and instead you use just one.Never mind that chatbots can be used for sales or marketing or customer support — many companies already have plenty other things to implement and maintain, and the fact that their services won t be prominently displayed could be a turnoff.
Sundar Pichai, the company s chief executive, demonstrated one use case: asking Assistant what movie he and his wife should see.Assistant responded with the film s rating on Rotten Tomatoes.It s still less secure than iMessage or WhatsApp, however, requiring users to actively opt-in to end-to-end encryption through an incognito mode .Instead, that s the built-in chatbots, including Google Assistant itself: Allo users will be able to use Assistant to find extra information or send auto-generated replies.Google already has a VR platform, Cardboard, but that s a deliberately limited beast, designed to let users trial a VR-lite experience through nothing more than their existing smartphone and a piece of laser-cut cardboard.Photograph: Stephen Lam/Reuters… and finallyGoogle didn t actually save the most surprising thing for last – that s an Apple thing – but alongside the reveal of Daydream came a second announcement: the company has created a VR headset.
Microsoft is building a Bing Concierge Bot — a new bot for messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger which "does what a human assistant would do," according to a job posting for a software engineer.Much like the just-announced Google Assistant, and Facebook's still-in-testing M, it sounds like Bing Concierge will let you get stuff done straight from your chat app.Tell Bing Concierge to book you a table at your favorite restaurant, for example, and it will ask how many and then go out to the web and do it for you.Under the hood, Bing Concierge will likely be powered by the same technology that lets Microsoft's existing Cortana assistant help you with your day-to-day tasks and answer questions.But where Cortana "lives" inside Windows 10 and a pair of Android and iPhone apps, Bing Concierge can help you in the apps you already use, like Skype or WhatsApp or Messenger — just start a conversation.That's also an edge over Google Assistant and Facebook M, which are limited to the Google Allo and Facebook Messenger services, respectively.Microsoft wants to infiltrate Facebook Messenger with a new concierge botThe existence of Bing Concierge doesn't come as a huge surprise.Earlier this year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced a series of new tools to help developers build their own chatbots, calling the concept "conversations as a platform."Nadella has even gone so far as to say that the idea of talking to a bot to get stuff done could be as revolutionary as the touchscreen or the web itself.So, given the company's existing investment into the technology, with Cortana and with its chatbot framework, it makes perfect sense to buy into its own hype and build a bot based on Bing.
Last summer, the San Francisco-based firm raised $21 million in a series B round led by Bessemer Ventures, bringing its total capital raise to about $35 million.Earlier this year the firm released its 2016 Bad Bots Landscape Report.Hackers have long used such bots as Burp to intercept web traffic and automate attacks, and Metasploit to probe webpages for vulnerabilities.Until recently, bad bots commonly targeted companies line of business operations to steal competitive information like pricing and inventories, intellectual property, and, of course, financial information.New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman s office recently released a report about abuses in the ticketing industry.One incident cited was how a scalper s bad bot purchased 1,012 tickets to a U2 concert within the very first minute of going on sale.With all the excitement around bots, it s not difficult to imagine a consumer being tricked into downloading a bad bot, akin to a phishing scheme or those fraudulent pleas of a Nigerian prince seeking to wire money to you.Just as good bots will become moresophisticated, so will bad bots increase their ability to evade detection, load malicious code, and imitate human behavior.While it s too early to say how much of a problem bad bots will be for consumer-facing bots, there s little doubt of the looming threat, particularly with the pervasiveness of mobile phones. 113 Facebook vs Asia Messaging Apps with Sameer Singh.mp3Sameer Singh from joined us to reflect on major themes that have been ongoing in the technology space from messaging apps to self-driving cars.In the first part, we discussed Facebook s recent F8 announcements on their new chatbots platform and video livestreaming.From there, we analyzed the implications of Facebook s announcements and examined how it will impact Asia from video advertising to messaging apps, thus foreshadowing an upcoming showdown between Asian messaging apps, such as WeChat and LINE.Finally, we dissected the different business models behind artificial intelligence companies and how they will play a role in the technology space from the US to Asia.Download MP3 25.2 MB or Subscribe via RSSAnalyse Asia with Bernard Leong is a weekly podcast dedicated to the pulse of technology, business & media in Asia.10:30 Why do Facebook use chatbots where the UI is not working in the emerging markets?16:45 Facebook Videos: Live Fast, Die Young Source: TheInformation Implications to Facebook livestreaming to video advertising and virtual reality.
In fact the intelligence assistance market has been on a tear since 2010 – the year Apple bought Siri for $200 million.Viv is the brainchild of Dag Kittlaus, who as CEO and cofounder of Viv Labs has re-assembled his former company s leadership including Adam Cheyer and Chris Brigham, who reprise the respective VP of Engineering and Chief Architect roles they held at Siri.Viv Labs isn t blind to the looming competition.Now, gaining the same ubiquity may prove to be Viv s biggest challenge, and it just might need help from an Amazon or Apple again .You can construct the best intelligent assistant in the world, but if it s not easily available to users, it won t became pervasive.Just look at how Amazon has blasted Alexa out of the gates, thanks to its established brand, offering SDKs for developers to add skills to Alexa s library and to integrate Alexa into their products, and financially backing companies through its $100 million Alexa Fund.It also drove a number of the Siri team—Kittlaus among them—to start up Viv Labs.What Viv has spent a lot of time and money on is perfecting this third-party ecosystem, said Kittlaus.Kittlaus stated after his demo that there had already been acquisition offers for Viv, but that he turned them down—perhaps to save Viv from Siri s single platform fate, and to have a shot at true ubiquity.Here s Kittlaus s demo of Viv:
But do we really care whether we are interacting with a software program or an actual human being as long as our issue gets addressed quickly and satisfactorily?As consumers, probably not.But as business owners, we particularly care because chatbots represent greater convenience with lower operating costs that can significantly boost the bottom-line performance.Which is why 2016 may be the year of the chatbot.Follow the prompts, pay for what you buy on that app s site, and your bidding will be done.If the link isn t activated, the chatbot sends a message asking to complete the order.But wait, there s more.Because unless you re dealing with a commodity that involves regular and frequent ordering, maybe not.Even so, if you re looking for something that simplifies the question-and-answer phase before a purchase decision, and does it with less cost without human intervention, then maybe.We re hedging here because we re still in the development stages of chatbot applications and, as ComputerWorld senior reporter Sharon Gaudin points out, there are not a lot of established best practices to follow.According to Gartner analyst Brian Blau: Businesses have to write the code and put processes in place to manage that customer conversation... We don't know yet how much infrastructure a business has to put around a chatbot to make it work right.Just ask Microsoft, whose Tay chatbot aimed at 18- to 24-year-old female social media users went offline after a day of being introduced.One needs to explicitly teach a system about what is not appropriate, like we do with children.
Chatbots represent a way for brands, businesses and publishers to interact with users without requiring them to download an app, become familiar with a new UI, or configure and update regularly.And Facebook s Mark Zuckerberg recently said chatbots will solve the current app overload problem.We re already seeing a shift: studies show people are using fewer apps, and much has been written about the difficulties developers face in today s maturing app market.Facebook Messenger, KiK, and Slack are creating their own bots to provide users with a one-stop-shop for all their needs, whether it s shopping, paying bills, checking the weather and more.Language is the interface.As their abilities to search, connect, consume, and execute certain tasks grow, chatbots are poised to replace apps that perform similar functions in narrow verticals, such as requesting an Uber or ordering pizza.The AI at the heart of a chatbot also makes it capable of consuming and leveraging vast amounts of data, an ability that promises greater efficiency and productivity across the spectrum of our daily lives.Unlike apps that dictate to us what their developer has programmed, chatbots can conform to the way we live and how we arrange and execute tasks.In the end, this too might be an intermediate step as both input and consumption are redefined through platform shifts in augmented reality and virtual reality.Dash Gopinath is CEO of if we .
If Google is right about the future, there are troubling signs to suggest Apple could meet the same fate as BlackBerry, according to top Apple follower Marco Arment.In a blog post, Arment argues that BlackBerry was great at creating phones and dominated the market before Apple released the iPhone."No new initiative, management change, or acquisition in 2007 could ve saved the BlackBerry."Today, Amazon, Facebook, and Google are placing large bets on advanced AI, ubiquitous assistants, and voice interfaces, hoping that these will become the next thing that our devices are for," Arment wrote.This week, even Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said he sees an AI-first world.With all of the talk about chatbots or conversation being the interface for the future, Apple lags far behind in everything from search to natural language processing.Photos can recognize what's in your pictures so you can search for an image without tagging it — like looking for photos of your dog by typing "puppy" or your kid by typing "daughter".Google is working towards a future that isn't a bunch of apps on a screen, but a different way of computing altogether — a shift that could, once again, change what we use our smartphones for.
Last week we were lamenting that the chatbot revolution faced a big hurdle because it was still too hard to find the most useful ones.The good news is that the folks behind Botlist are on the case.Botlist launched in early April, just before Facebook announced it was jumping on the bandwagon by enabling chatbots on its Messenger platform.Which, of course, isn t entirely accurate.And that s where Botlist comes in.Basically, it was created as a side project by three people: Ben Tossell, a community manager at Product Hunt, and developers Mubashar Iqbal and Seth Louey.In an email interview, Tossell said he saw that individual platforms that were enabling bots were developing their own lists.But the group felt that having a centralized site for users to discover bots would provide a better venue for developers looking to find an audience.Botlist includes bots for Android, email, Messenger, iPhone, Kik, Slack, SMS, and Telegram.I don t particularly want to text a business.
It s about people.Briefly, Google Allo is an Android and iOS mobile messaging app scheduled for summer release that looks much like other chat apps.But Allo is enhanced with a machine learning engine that can parse context from images and text, allowing it to suggest remarkably cogent replies during messaging conversations, among other things.In his keynote, Google CEO Sundar Pichai described it thusly: We think of it as a conversational assistant, we want users to have an ongoing, two-way dialog with Google … to help you get things done in your real world … understanding your context … We think of this as building each user their own individual Google.Presenters at I/O poked fun at rival Amazon s limited knowledge base by boasting, We do much more than simple searches that can be found on Wikipedia.Using the full weight of Google in your daily conversations is a very powerful proposition.The Google Home product may supply a great piece of the puzzle towards completing a connected life.Google s various Android and Chrome implementations can potentially move Alexa-like power beyond the home and put such capability everywhere.
Let s take a look at some popular bots and see how they hold up against these heuristics.Up to this point, I forgot I was conversing with a bot; now my innocence is lost.Anyways, let s keep going and say Yea.I get the weather along with the next CTA; I don t want to set any notifications for now, but thanks for asking, Poncho.This is just a fantastic job of providing inline documentation, and Poncho even prompted me to ask for this help.However, this already feels less like a conversation and more like a command line.While the CNN bot is definitely not something I d want to have a beer with, that works in its favor when it comes to guiding my actions; I m more inclined to treat it like a command line and less like a pal.Other than having it give me stories, it s unclear what I can do with this bot.It seems to rely too much on accepting interactions via structured message, and Ask cnn doesn t really do much.This bot gets the job done, but it s a tad underwhelming.These go a long way toward grounding the user in the experience.Crafting a compelling, delightful bot experience is going to be a key differentiator between the bots that see adoption and those that don t. Nielsen s heuristics continue to provide a great benchmark to point us in the right direction.A version of this post appeared on Scott is a desingineer, half human/half bot.
Second, the firm unveiled an intelligent security bot that promises to simplify and streamline the work of corporate security operations.The company s announcement is well-timed given the burgeoning interest in bots, but CEO Slavik Markovich says the timing is coincidental and driven solely by customer need.The average security analyst has to access three or four different products and follow perhaps 10 steps in order to identify and blacklist a malicious file, said Markovich.Demisto s bot addresses this challenge by integrating with more than 30 security tools from companies like Check Point and Carbon Black to provide a unified interface that sits atop their software.Developing a sales and marketing team will be a primary use of the new investment.Based in Cupertino, California, Demisto s founders began work on their security chatbot in July 2015.The positive feedback on our collaborative interface was an ah-ha moment.The need for security analysts and the lack of workers with the right skill set can be addressed by chatbots like ours, said Bhargava.Available now as part of Demisto s Enterprise Security Operations Platform, the chatbot contains two intelligent functions with two more on the way.This prevents two redundant tasks from being executed.