Star Trek got it right: In the future, we’ll use computers by talking to them.
Google held an event this week and new hardware got most of the attention. Google unveiled a couple of Google-built Pixel phones, Google Wi-Fi home mesh routers, the Google Home virtual assistant appliance, a new 4k Chromecast Ultra streaming media box and the Daydream View VR headset.
Critics say Google is copying and competing directly with Apple with the Pixel phones and with Amazon with Home. But this misses the point.
Google believes that artificial intelligence (A.I.) virtual assistants (VA) and the conversational user interface (CUI) will largely supplant search engines and mobile apps for many users. We’re moving into an “A.I.-first world,” according to Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
Simply put, all that means is you talk to a computer. It “understands” what you say no matter how you say it. Then the computer does things for you based on those conversations.
Google is betting the company on its own version of this interface, called Google Assistant. And it’s a bet I think they’ll win.