Google’s new smartphones are about Google, not Android
Google unveiled a number of new units at present, however on the core of almost every little thing was a dedication to Assistant particularly, and to displaying off what Google’s vary of service choices can do. I sat down with Google Canada’s Head of Public Affairs Aaron Brindle after the satellite tv for pc keynote occasion right here in Toronto to debate what means for Google now, and the way its work in synthetic intelligence and machine studying matches in with the gadget facet of the equation.
“One of the vital necessary messages of at present is that Google is taking very critically,” Brindle mentioned. “What we’ve seen with the Android ecosystem is that the tempo of innovation there’s superb — there at the moment are 1.four billion each day customers on Android. Nonetheless, this isn’t about bringing the very best of Android to our customers — it’s about bringing the very best of Google to our customers. In order that’s taking in the entire investments and analysis that we’re doing round AI and ML, and packaging it entrance to again in .”
Brindle says that whereas there’s loads of nice work being achieved by Android OEM companions, Google nonetheless sees locations the place it may well complement the choices out there to customers. He additionally urged that Google is extra than simply the and software program facet of being a tool firm — they acknowledge the significance of the gross sales and advertising expertise on that facet of the enterprise, too.
“The fact is that one dimension doesn’t match all within the Android area, and we acknowledge that there’s a huge alternative to create one thing from nuts to bolts,” he mentioned. “Not solely within the software program and the , however within the advertising, within the assist, within the retail piece, and we felt there was one thing lacking there.”
Whether or not which means we’ll see full brick-and-mortar retail stays to be seen, however already Google is rethinking its web-based gadget gross sales with new installment-plan cost choices for units it sells straight by way of the Google Retailer on-line for over $150 within the U.S.
As for the way Assistant performs in, and the place it will get its spectacular smarts, Brindle says it’s core to the Pixel units, and has been made potential because of very current enhancements within the functionality of Google’s AI.
“You heard the Assistant come up all through this piece, and it’s central, it’s the marquee piece within the new telephone,” he defined. “That’s based mostly on advances in AI — I imply large advances, not simply up to now 12 months because the final Nexus telephone, I imply up to now a number of months. Advances in translation, and picture recognition, for instance.”
Brindle says that Google’s operation in Canada is definitely a core a part of these efforts, given the nation’s analysis management within the subject.
“All of that analysis comes from the work that we’re doing in AI, and a few of the finest researchers in AI are based mostly right here in Canada,” he mentioned. “So [Google Distinguished Researcher] Geoffrey Hinton’s work on machine studying, significantly the mixing of his work on neural nets and the way that has formed our AI advances, it’s all in there.”
Google’s strategy is about extra than simply proudly owning the telephone expertise end-to-end — it’s about crafting a complete strategy to delivering the subsequent technology of its platform, which might be based mostly round AI and ML and can look to units just like the Pixel and Pixel XL as completely suited supply automobiles. It’s not fairly a pivot, however this positively alerts a sea change in Google’s strategy to its personal identification and enterprise.