Google is changing how its virtual assistant, called Assistant, communicates with other parts of the company so that it can focus more on Bard, the company’s new AI chat technology.
Sissie Hsiao, vice president and head of Google Assistant’s business unit, sent a memo to employees on Wednesday titled “Changes to the Assistant and Bard teams.” The changes show that the business unit is putting a lot of focus on Bard.
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Google’s Assistant Team is Refocusing Its Efforts on Bard
Google announced Google Assistant with a lot of noise back in the day. Google was trying to add it to Android and its Google app at the time to put the voice assistant in the spotlight. But over time, Assistant hasn’t quite lived up to what it promised, neither for customers because of problems with voice recognition nor for the company that made it due to no viable monetization.
This important job at Google seems to have been taken over by Bard, a Google chatbot that works like ChatGPT. This makes it look like the development of the Assistant isn’t getting as much attention so that more time can be spent on AI that can generate natural language.
A new report from CNBC shows that this path will also change the people who work on the Google Assistant team. A memo from inside the company that was given to a publication shows that the division has changed to focus much more on Bard than on Assistant.
An experienced Assistant worker is leaving the company for personal reasons, but Peeyush Ranjan, who was in charge of payments before, is now in charge of the Assistant division i.e. Google Pay and Wallet.
Ron Amadeo, who used to work for Android Police and now writes for Ars Technica, says this isn’t a good sign for the future of Google Assistant. Even before this reorganization, the company hadn’t made any hardware for the Assistant since 2021.
Instead, it took the voice assistant out of some products, such as some Fitbit watches and the newest Nest Wi-Fi routers. At the same time, the company shut down a few Assistant features, like Assistant Driving Mode, Duplex on the web, and Assistant Reminders, which might be better now that they are part of Google Tasks.
What is the Need to Reshuffle the Team Unit?
Bard, Google’s answer to ChatGPT, is one of the company’s biggest projects this year. The virtual assistant unit of the organization is helping Bard grow even more. CNBC says that Sissie Hsiao, who is vice president and head of Google Assistant’s business unit, told the virtual assistant team in a memo that they would be changing how they work.
The unit is being reorganized so that work on the company’s AI chatbot gets a lot of attention. Hsiao says in the memo that Jianchang Mao is leaving the company because of personal reasons. Mao was Google Assistant’s vice president of engineering, and Hsiao was his boss. He is said to be replaced by Peeyush Ranjan, who was vice president of Google’s commerce group.
Amar Subramanya is in charge of engineering for the Bard team. He is the vice president of engineering for Google Assistant. The memo also said that Trevor Strohman, who was in charge of leading these engineering projects before, will still work for Bard as a “Area Tech Lead.”
This reorganization and the fact that the virtual assistant unit is focusing more on Bard could mean that the company has plans for both Bard and Google Assistant. The people in charge might want to add Bard to all of the products that have Google Assistant, like Nest smart speakers, Pixel phones, and even Android Auto.
What Are the Best Things About Google Assistant?
The best things about Google Assistant are how quickly it has grown and how well it works with a wide range of devices and platforms. Google Assistant was on more than 500 million devices by the end of 2018, and it could be used in 30 languages and 80 countries.
People quickly started using Google Assistant because it worked with smartphones and smart home devices. Also, Assistant connects Google services like Gmail and Maps, which makes it a great choice for people who use these tools a lot.
How is It Different From Bard?
When it was first shown at Google I/O in May 2016, Assistant was said to be a step up from Google Now, the company’s previous voice assistant. At first, Google Assistant could only be used on Google Pixel phones and Google Home smart speakers. It eventually reached Android phones, TVs, smartwatches, and even cars through the Android Auto platform.
Google Assistant is an AI-powered virtual assistant and language-processing program, just like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Assistant is often used for speech recognition and is built into phones, home devices like the Pixel smartphone and Nest smart speakers, smartwatches, smart displays, TVs, and even cars through the Android Auto platform.
Recent changes in leadership suggest that the Assistant division might think about using Bard technology in similar products. But it’s still not clear how to make money off of this Bard. Executives have said that Bard could be used as a search tool, but recent discussions among Bard’s leaders have played down that possibility.
What are the Limitations of Google Assistant?
Google Assistant has been popular, but it has also had some problems. People worry about their privacy because Google has been under a lot of scrutiny for how it handles user data and recordings. In 2019, Google confirmed that humans listened to a small number of audio recordings to make the Assistant work better.
People were worried about their privacy after hearing this news, so Google made it easier for users to manage their data and added more privacy measures. Google Assistant has also had a lot of trouble with other big companies. Alexa from Amazon and Siri from Apple are two of the most popular virtual assistants that compete with each other.
Alexa is the most popular virtual assistant for smart speakers. Google Assistant has always been trying to grow, connect, and get better. Since 2016, Google Assistant has been a big player in the market for virtual assistants, but its future has never looked less clear.
Google Assistant is a virtual assistant and language-processing software that is powered by artificial intelligence. It is similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. Assistant is used on mobile and home devices, like Google’s Pixel phone and Nest’s smart speakers and other devices.
It is often used to understand what people say. It is also used in smart watches, smart displays, TVs, and cars through the Android Auto platform. With the new changes in leadership, it looks like the Assistant organization may plan to use Bard technology in similar products in the future.
As part of the change that happened on Wednesday, an email said that Amar Subramanya, who is the vice president of engineering for Google Assistant, will now be in charge of engineering for the Bard team. Trevor Strohman, who used to be in charge of engineering at Bard, will still work for the company as a “Area Tech Lead” and report to Hsiao.