Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Google Pixel 3 Shows the Power of AI in Action

Today, Google’s big hardware event took place in NYC, and one thing was clear in their new Google Pixel release: they’re bought in on AI. The tech giant has been slowly integrating AI capabilities into the phone hardware (think: the subtle “Now Playing” song-recognition feature on the phone’s lock screen), and this release is no different.

What’s Inside?
The Pixel 3 is chock full of new AI-powered features–most of them focused on the camera. Using the new Pixel Visual Core chip, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL phones makes picture-taking more intelligent than ever before. Now when users snap a picture, the Pixel is actually taking multiple frames and using AI to show you the “best” one, taking factors into consideration like smiles, blinking eyes, and whether or not the subject is looking at the camera. This AI algorithm is also used for the Pixel’s selfie mode in a feature called “Photobooth”, which allows the user to take the perfect selfie without even pressing the “capture” button! All the user has to do is open the front camera, gather all their friends in the frame, and let the camera detect when everyone is smiling, looking at the camera, and–most importantly–not blinking.

Maybe even more useful than the AI-powered camera features? The ability to screen calls from numbers you don’t recognize. Here’s how it works: when a call comes in from an unknown number, you can tell the phone to screen the call. In real time, you can watch the phone use AI to screen the call, transcribe it to a text, and choose to either answer the call or hang up. Then, if it is a spam call, you can report it as spam right from the call screen with a quick tap.

Shifting Consumers’ Perception
While there’s been a significant shift toward more trust in AI over the past few years (2 in 3 consumers now see AI as an “exciting technology development” rather than something scary), there’s still a wide perception that AI is all robots and futuristic automation. Google’s subtle AI-powered features are showing consumers the power of AI when applied to small daily tasks. And, it turns out, that’s what Google is hoping to do with all of heir AI endeavors! At this year’s Google Town Hall event in January, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said: “It is important to help people understand that they use AI today. AI is just making computers more intelligent and being able to do a wide variety of tasks and we take it for granted whenever something happens and we adopt it.”

With Google’s latest Pixel 3 and 3XL release, we’re certain that AI will keep inching its way into our daily mobile tasks–and consumer perception will continue to realize the most powerful AI is oftentimes the AI you don’t even realize you’re using.