Google is seeking to reposition itself as a force of 'digital wellness' by unveiling a raft of artificial intelligence powered tools. The launch hopes to ease user's smartphone addiction and enable them to hold conversations with gadgets.
The announcement came at the tech giants annual developer conference when Google chief executive, Sundar Pichai, set out his stall as a ‘positive force’. He stressed the benefits that technology can bring while skirting the social, data security and privacy pitfalls brought into sharp relief by Facebook’s present travails.
Google has been pushing its AI boundaries with Pichai declaring: “It is clear technology can be a positive force but it’s equally clear we can’t just be wide-eyed. We feel a deep sense of responsibility about how to get this right.”
Demonstrating how these technologies can make life better, Pichai showed how AI had been used to help a disabled person communicate, alongside evidence that AI was now better than doctors at deciding which patients ought to be readmitted to hospital.
Cutting edge voice technology called Google Duplex has been designed to enable computers to field natural-language phone calls. Meanwhile a new group of ‘suggested actions’ for Google Photos make it easier than ever before to share content.
As well as encouraging more usage of its devices Google is also moving the other way with a new dashboard on its Android operating system. It details precisely how much time people spend on their devices and individual apps, complete with the ability to set limits.
Elsewhere AI is being treated as something of a threat as employees fret that their roles may very well become automated in future.