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Google's massive 2016 announcements

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop' started by amusicsite, 4 Oct 2016.

  1. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member


    Lets start with the roomers before the real news kicks in. Some of the worst kept secrets (very un-Apple) in the tech world could get showcased by Google later today.

    After years of playing around it looks like Google is going to take on the likes of Apple and Samsung with a killer phone made for consumers. With a killer exclusive but more on that later.

    Google Home.
    A Google box continuously listening to you linked to your Google account. If you want Google to really know you this could be your dream come true. Will do things like stream content to your TV and no doubt search out things. Their attempt at a hub which I'm sure will be supported by thousands of other intrusive add-ons.

    The nice little box that streams stuff to your dumb TV gets smaller and more powerful. Nicely pairs with phone and Home thing.


    Google jumps on the VR bandwagon and a bit of cardboard will turn your phone into a VR unit. I think they may throw the kitchen sink at getting this right.

    Android and ChromeOS.
    This is the new glue for all of the above. While others have talked about it, Google may have worked out the one OS to run everything. Probably from the chromecast to the netbook and beyond. Possibly one OS that seamlessly switches from Android interface to a ChromeOS type interface depending on the screen size or user preference. One app to run anywhere. Android apps from your phone to your laptop to your TV. The universal app.... And you have to say, tell the Android app developers they can utilise an i7 with 8GB ram and they will make the apps that will run there.

    This could be the first real threat to Windows we have really seen. Oh and updates in seconds...
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Well not quite what was fully expected but still could be a big game changer.

    To start with the main event is about A.I. first. This mainly means that Google wants you to have a personal assistant and as they see it the main things to make this work are image recognition, translation (understanding language and how it works) and getting computers to speak more naturally. Image recognition and translation have been bumped up to an A.I. machine learning system that they claim has massively closed the gap between their old systems and the level humans can achieve. This in practice means Google can explain images in more detail e.g. from that is a dog to that is this bread dog sitting down type things. If it's machine learning based then I guess it just gradually gets better at describing the image while keeping the information relevant. As far as translation goes it looks like the new system has learnt to put in a few useful link words and restructure the sentence to something a bit less clumsy as the old system.

    The natural speaking seems still to be work in progress as they did not really state any improvements. They did set out their mission though. They have moved from a recording voices, splitting it into parts and recombining them to make speech to a machine learning A.I. system that is trying to work out how to recreate speech audio from scratch. If they can crack this they then want to make it versatile so you can have different accents and personality traits.

    Obviously this A.I. machine learning system is going to be integrated into everything Google. "The more you use it the better it gets" they said or put another way it's going to get to know you even better than it does from your search history alone. Ultimately it is you "own personal Google" or a Google account that really gets to know you and is listening all the time.

    A new phone too, looks nice enough and naturally is the first phone to get the new A.I. assistant built in. Like Google Now+
    Nice HDR camera that takes quick sharp and dynamic pictures and 4k movies. The killer feature though is the promise to store ALL you photos and videos FOR FREE online at full quality. (terms and conditions probably worth reading when it comes out). They promise nicely battery optimised and comes with VR well baked in. So expect lots of people with cardboard headset wearing people walking into trees videos coming soon. Looks like they have made a nice comfort first VR headset that looks like a nice reassuring sofa you rest on your face. Comes with a nice little controller that has a special holder in the headset so you don't loose it. Their approach to designing a headset could be as revolutionary as the invention of the baseball cap. I'm guessing that Hollywood and the music industry could be as heavily targeted by Google as the obvious infotainment and games markets. I think Google may have cracked the value add these media industries have been looking for since trying to get Apple to do that interactive web page add on thing to iTunes albums. Music sleeve notes or 3D movie trailers anyone?

    Google do a new WiFi unit that looks nice and FFS it's Google, you know they know how to manage a network. This looks like a smart router with control app that I guess has the ability to nicely upgrade as they improve it and add functions that users request. Most likely a solid reliable router, US only to start with I think.

    Chromecast get smaller (leaked images spot on) with 4k and probably won't need another update for a long time as it will, I'm sure, do just about anything you will need a streaming media TV connector thingy.

    Got all that now and you will have quite a smart house but if you want to go the whole hog then there is the new Google Home privacy invasion. With an (Apple-esc) virtual scroll wheel type thing on the top to do simple things like volume control, mute start / stop type things. Built in speakers with what they claim is good music audio quality too. Obviously this can play nicely with chromecast, you phone and any other (Google approved) device. So "Play that video from my phone on TV" is no problem. Again comes in nice soft home comfort style to match the VR headset or nice cold metal looks.

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARJ8cAGm6JE

    Just saying...

    The A.I. can have plug-ins like IoT light controls or Spotify app intergration type thing. I guess with some nice little walled garden licence fee payment to Google. Anyone know what an A.I. virus looks like? SDK not till next year so Google toys het a year's head start.

    The phone and chromecast thing are the "first two Google assistant devices we will be showing you" so expect more to come.

    So overall it seems like a well rounded product roll out with some nice attention to detail. If not a little creepy...
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    One thing has just popped into my mind. It could be interesting the machine learning "Your own personal Google" part of the back end. Recently Google got it's A.I. to 'read' 11,00 books and a debate about it on Reddit suggested that it's not like copying the date it's building up a network of associations and rules. So it's not like it's storing all the books anywhere just meta data on how the data is structured. Which it can then use to create writings of it's own like it's poetry experiment.

    So what if it can do the same to your profile data. You can clear your browser history or delete those photos, documents, movie or music and it's gone from your profile data but Google still knows you had that. You may have deleted every reference to drunk night you really embarrassed yourself. Those photos are gone, the posts online too and those emails you should never have sent bypassed the trash to oblivion. Though your own personal Google will remember the night. Will remember you got drunk, Will remember you did things that you removed when sober the next day and maybe even remember the type of websites you visited, type of person you contacted and other stuff that could recreate a detailed commentary on how that evening when.

    It could be just the thing they want to bypass the countries with laws that restrict the type of information it stores. Instead of storing the information for future analysis it analyses it on the fly and no longer needs the original source data. Getting your Google personal assistant A.I. machine learning profile manager to forget anything is probably going to be as successful as telling the office gossip 'not to tell anyone'. It may not be able to forget anything because everything is assimilated into the profile, at best it will probably only record that it asked you to forget that thing. Probably just giving that item even more weight in your profile...

    "I'm sorry, I can't unlearn what I have learnt"
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    I've just watched this year's Google IO talk and it really seems that what they started in 2016 is starting to pay off. I'd almost call it the transition to Google 2.0.

    So what's changed. Firstly in certain areas they are now miles ahead of the competition. The most telling one is language and by that I mean the ones we use not the 0s and 1s machines use. Not only can they now seamlessly understand spoken words, read text of images and video and even speak languages better. The biggest change this year is they have managed to squeeze the previously 2GB of algorithms needed to understand language down to about 60MB. This makes it small enough to put on most phones. In fact this is the big change. Their new system processes all language stuff right on your phone! This means it can ass subtitles to videos you have shot, even without a network connection. Though the main thing most people will notice is the speed bump this has given their service. No longer do you have to say Hey Google what's the weather like, then wait 20 seconds for it to tell you. It's almost instantaneous.

    One of the great things this has achieved is that it opens up real dictation on Android. I've tried a few others recently and most of them are the case of say a line, wait for it to print to screen then say the next line. On their demo it looks like you can just blurt out the text and it appears without the wait. One of the main things they say has helped this is that they not only understand the words spoken but are getting better at understanding the context from the words around it. So it might get a word wrong to start with but as you keep speaking the sentence it realises it's chosen the wrong interpretation and corrects it on the fly.

    As all this runs off the phone it also bring the benefit of less data transferred to and from their servers as well as that information staying on your phone so you don't feel like they are spying on you so much. Obviously this is also a big boost for Google as over time it will mean they will not need as much computing power to run these services.

    Privacy really seems to be their new goal and I guess they are big enough now that they have learnt a lot from the massive data pack they have that they don't need to keep adding to it. So they don't care so much about if you hide all your data. Obviously they will still get some from a lot of people who don't care about privacy which will be enough to keep learning new tricks. For example their next task they are looking into is understanding people with speech impediments who are hard to understand. This seems like a massive task as I'd imagine every case is very unique. Though they showed off a system that only needs a little input to start building up an understanding of what they say. Their goal seems to be to make it so that any person can use their systems to communicate how they like. If you are deaf it can transcribe all the things spoken around you in real time. If you can't speak then you can type in the text and that will be spoken for you. As well as being able to translate that into other languages too. It seems they are 99% there too!

    All this local processing is also good for the IoT home hub type things. Once again it can recognise your face, understand your voice commands and customise your experience all without sending any data to the cloud. This is backed up with their new home hub which comes with a camera and microphone which has a switch on the back that physically disconnects all power to the devices so you know it's 100% not listening. As well as having a light come on when active and enabled.

    One of the main reasons they are so far ahead of their competition is their A.I. research. They seem to be dedicating a lot of their server time to do the crunching and solve problems. I guess as they offload more of the language processing to the end user devices this will free up even more computer cycles to throw at A.I.

    I'd really recommend watching the Google I.O. talk from both this year and last year, if you have not seen it and I think it shows a whole new direction that Google is heading towards.... And I think it will not take them long to get there too as the improvements they are making year on year are quite staggering and seem to be growing exponentially.