Google I/O 2024 will once again be about artificial intelligence

Google is preparing to host its annual developer conference Google I/O next week. Google is not keeping it a secret. Since last year’s I/O, it has unveiled a new and more powerful Gemini to compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and has been busy testing new features in search, Google Maps and Android. We expect to hear a lot more this year.

Google I/O dates and where to watch
Google I/O kicks off with a keynote on Tuesday, May 14 at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET. The keynote can be viewed on Google’s website or YouTube channel. (I/O usually lasts several hours, so be sure to allow a reasonable amount of time.

Artificial Intelligence at I/O
Google has made it clear that this year’s I/O will be all about AI – Gemini has been in the world for a few months now, as has the company’s smaller Gemma model, and it’s not without some controversy. Much of the keynote will address how Google is combining search and productive AI. The company is testing new search features such as AI conversational practice for English language learners and image creation for shopping and virtual fit.

Google will also focus on its plans to make smartphones more AI devices. This means more productive AI features will be added to Google’s apps. For example, Google is working on AI features in Maps to help with eating, shopping and finding electric car chargers. Google is also testing a feature that will use AI to call businesses and put them on hold and wait until a human actually shows up to talk to them.

Pixel as an AI device
I/O could also see the launch of a new, more personalized version of the digital assistant, rumored to be called ‘Pixie’, a Gemini-powered assistant that can take photos of things and learn how to use them, and get directions to places to buy things. It is expected to integrate multi-modal features, such as taking a photo of an object and learning how to use it, or getting directions on where to buy something.

This could be bad news for devices like the Rabbit R1 and the Human Ai Pin, each recently launched and struggling to justify their existence. The only upside right now is that it’s difficult (if not impossible) to use a smartphone as an AI wearable.

Given that the Pixel 8A is already available for pre-order and the refreshed and cheaper Pixel Tablet is available for purchase, it seems unlikely that Google will focus on new hardware this year. It could, of course, preview new products like the Pixel 9 or Pixel Tablet 2.

It could also talk about a follow-up to the Pixel Fold, rumored to be rebranded as the Pixel 9 Pro Fold.

What do you think?

Written by Sean Anderson

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