The Latest: Google technology makes tedious calls for you

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on Google’s at its annual developers conference (all times local):

11:05 a.m.

Google is working on technology it’s calling Google Duplex that will use artificial intelligence to call businesses to make appointments and other tedious calls.

In two demonstrations, one setting up a hair appointment and another a restaurant reservation, a realistic-sounding automated voice used pauses and “ums” and “mmm-hmms” to sound more human during interactions with people.

“Hi, I’m calling to book hair appointment for a client,” the AI voice said in the demo and then negotiated a time and date for the appointment.

At its annual developers conference Tuesday, Google emphasized the technology is still in development and rolling out as “an experiment” in coming weeks.

“We really want to work hard to get this right,” CEO Sundar Pichai said.


10:30 a.m.

Google is introducing an autocomplete feature in its Gmail email service.

The feature called “smart compose” uses machine learning to offer suggested ways to finish sentences users start typing.

For example, “I haven’t seen you” might be autocompleted to “I haven’t seen you in a while and I hope you’re doing well.” Users can accept the completion by hitting tab.

The “smart compose” feature that was introduced Tuesday at Google’s annual developers conference should be available to all users this month.

For its photos service, Google is starting a new service called “Suggested Actions.” If it recognizes a photo of someone who is a Google contact, it can suggested sending it to the person. It can also convert photos to PDFs and automatically add color to black-and-white photos or make part of a color photo black and white. The changes are coming in the next two months.


9:45 a.m.

Google is showing off what it’s like to experiment with artificially intelligent music.

Two performers are using synthesizers infused with what the company says is machine learning to warm up the crowd ahead of a keynote by CEO Sundar Pichai at Google’s annual developers conference.

The music is a mix of electronic dance music and bells. Graphics suggest the sounds are meant to mimic a sitar, guitar, a piano and something called a “resopad.”

Other than starting a wave, the attendees at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, don’t seem that into it. Some people are waving when their images appear on giant screens around the stage.


12:01 a.m.

Google is likely to again put artificial intelligence in the spotlight at its annual developers conference.

The company’s digital concierge, known only as the Google Assistant, could gain new abilities to handle tasks such as making reservations without human hand-holding.

Google may also unveil updates to its Android mobile operating system, enable better AI-powered suggestions from Google Maps, and push further into augmented reality technology, which overlays a view of the real world with digital images.

Google aims to make its assistant so useful that people can’t live without it — or the search results that drive its advertising business. But it’s also showcasing how its AI is being used by developers to improve health care, preserve the environment and make new scientific discoveries.

Categories: California News