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Google Unveils New AI Assistant ‘Project Astra’

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Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has introduced a new artificial intelligence assistant called Project Astra. This assistant can answer questions in real-time using video, audio, and text. The announcement was made during a developer conference led by Alphabet’s CEO, Sundar Pichai.

Project Astra is a “multimodal” AI assistant, which means it can understand and respond to different types of input. For example, it can analyze what it sees through a phone camera or smart glasses and provide relevant information. During a demonstration, it was able to identify code sequences, suggest improvements to electrical diagrams, recognize locations, and even help users find lost items like glasses.

Google plans to integrate Astra’s capabilities into its Gemini app and other products starting this year. However, Pichai emphasized that the rollout will prioritize quality, ensuring that Astra works seamlessly across different software platforms.

The development of Project Astra reflects Google’s commitment to advancing AI technology. Alongside Astra, Google also announced enhancements to its core search engine. Users in the US will now receive AI-generated summaries at the top of search results, followed by clickable links and ads. This AI overview feature aims to streamline the search process and will expand to other regions soon.

These innovations come as competitors like OpenAI pose challenges to Google’s dominance in search. OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot offers quick and comprehensive responses to queries, potentially changing how people access information online.

In response, Google unveiled additional AI products like Veo, Imagen 3, and Lyria, catering to various multimedia tasks such as video generation, image creation, and music composition. Subscribers to Gemini Advanced can also create personalized chatbots called “Gems” to assist with specific tasks.

Furthermore, Google upgraded its flagship Gemini 1.5 Pro model, enhancing its ability to understand complex instructions and reference previous conversations. This improvement reflects Google’s ongoing efforts to push the boundaries of AI technology.

Source: FT