Google debuts a series of AI generation features as they battle OpenAI rivals Microsoft, and Apple

Google (GOOG, GOOGL) unveiled a series of AI-powered products at its Google I/O developer conference on Tuesday, including its Gemini Live assistant, updates to its Android and Workspaces platforms, and a revamp of its flagship Search product.

The announcements are part of Google’s broader effort to re-establish itself as Silicon Valley’s AI leader after Microsoft’s ( MSFT ) partnership with OpenAI in 2022 kept it afloat.

The new products also come a day after OpenAI unveiled its GPT-4o AI model and days before rivals Microsoft and Apple ( AAPL ) begin their own next-generation AI updates.

The biggest announcement is that Google is updating its Search platform to include AI-generated results at the top of the screen. The feature, which was first available as part of a preview in the company’s Search Labs, is now coming to all US users and will be rolled out globally in the future.

Another of the biggest announcements was a new, personal AI assistant called Gemini Live. The feature, powered by the company’s Gemini 1.5 Pro model, will allow you to speak directly to the assistant on your mobile device, providing you with answers in several natural voices.

On the Android side, Google says it’s expanding the assistant to interact with apps like Google Messages and Gmail, allowing users, for example, to drag and drop Gemini-generated images into texts and emails. Users can also use the app to ask specific questions about YouTube videos, and it will scan the video’s subtitles to find an answer.

Google is updating its on-device version of Gemini, called Gemini Nano, with new multimodal features. Multimodal means that an AI generation model can work across media including text, images and video.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 18: In this photo, Gemini Ai is seen on a phone on March 18, 2024 in New York City.  Apple has announced that it is exploring a partnership with Google to license Gemini AI-driven features on iPhones with iOS updates later this year.  Google already has an agreement in place with Apple to be the top search engine provider on iPhones for the Safari browser.  (Photo Illustration by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

Google announced several new AI features for its Android and Workspace platforms at Google I/O 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images) (Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images)

Google’s vice president of engineering for Gemini experiences, Amar Subramanya, told Yahoo Finance that he’s using Gemini Live for brainstorming, bouncing ideas off the assistant. Subramanya said early testers were using Gemini Live for situations including translation.

In the coming months, Google says Gemini Live will be able to access user cameras, allowing the assistant to interact with the real world and what it sees. OpenAI also demonstrated these capabilities in demonstrations of its GPT-4o.

In one example, Subramanya said he asked the assistant to get a recipe for a pineapple upside-down cake for 15 people and add the ingredients to his Keep shopping list. The assistant found a recipe for eight people, scaled the proportions from 8 to 15 people, and added the items Subramanya needed to assemble his shopping list.

Meanwhile, Gemini Nano goes through different parts of Android.

For example, Gemini will now provide audio descriptions of on-screen images in TalkBack accessibility software, which Google says will help combat the problem of unlabeled images that people with vision problems face online and in messages from friends and family.

Gemini Nano can also detect if you are speaking to a potential scammer on the phone.

The company says it does this by picking up “conversation patterns often associated with scams”. Google says that all the processing for detecting scams takes place on your phone, and conversations are not uploaded to the web.

As for Google’s Workspace, the company says it’s bringing its more powerful Gemini 1.5 Pro model to its side panel in Workspace apps.

The option allows you to continue working in an app like Docs or Gmail and use Gemini at the same time in a smaller side panel. Google says Gemini 1.5 Pro is able to reference larger data sets, so if you’re using it in Gmail it can summarize information from a larger number of emails.

Meanwhile, Gemini for Workspace in the Gmail mobile app can summarize email threads, making them easier to read on a smaller screen; provide contextually intelligent responses based on email content; and searching for specific information in long-sent email.

Google has just a few days before its biggest competitors launch their own AI products.

Microsoft is likely to announce updates to its AI-powered productivity suite for Microsoft 365 at its Build conference, which starts on May 20, while Apple will debut a new AI-powered generation version of its Siri voice assistant at its WWDC event in June. 10, according to the New York Times.

Now, we will wait to see if they will steal Google’s thunder. Again.

Subscribe to the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter.Subscribe to the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter.

Subscribe to the Yahoo Finance Tech newsletter. (Yahoo Finance)

Email Daniel Howley at Follow him on Twitter at @Daniel Howley.

Click here for the latest technology news that will impact the stock market.

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *