Google Bets the Farm on Artificial Intelligence

Google CEO Sundar Pichai published his 2016 Founder’s Letter in April, describing how the search engine giant will focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning over the coming years.

AI is the driver behind many advanced Internet features that help us to solve the problems we encounter in daily life. It lets us use voice to search for information. It translates web pages from one language to another. And it filters spam from your inbox.

AI is evolving quickly. This year, DeepMind’s AlphaGo program defeated Lee Sedol, a legendary Go master. This was the first computer to beat a champion at one of the most complex games ever devised. It’s another step towards creating AI that can help us solve problems across all walks of life, from climate change to cancer diagnosis.

And Google, with its vast cash reserves, and its army of software engineers and developers, is leading the way in artificial intelligence. The company that made its name with search technology is now using advanced AI to push search to the next level.

During its recent keynote speech, Google unveiled several forthcoming products, including the Google Home device, Google Assistant, the Duo video chat app, and the Allo chat app. These new applications are all fuelled by AI.

Google sees this as a pivotal moment. It’s no longer sufficient just to give people links – now it’s time to help users complete real tasks in the real world. For example, the Google Home device will proactively suggest alternative routes to work when it identifies a traffic jam, before you leave the house.

Using this technology, Google can also assist organisations attempting to make sense of the deluge of data building up in their cloud networks. These businesses store vast amounts of information, but don’t know how to make the best use if it. AI and machine learning will let them discover meaning and relevance in disparate and diverse data.

AI will drive the next-generation of technology, and Google is a pioneer in this field. In some respects Google was founded on artificial intelligence, but while they currently lead the field, Microsoft and Facebook are hot on their heels. Google must continue to disrupt and innovate within the technology sector if it wants to stay ahead of the pack.

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