Google races toward the next computing leap

Google is one of the world's most valuable companies. But tonight it's racing to avoid obsolescence.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Google is one of the world's most valuable companies. But it's now racing to avoid obsolescence. From web search to mobile to artificial intelligence, our eyeballs keep moving to the next thing, and Google wants to be there.

In hopes of staying ahead of the curve, the company is making its most aggressive leap yet into hardware. CEO Sundar Pichai said that’s the best way to “build a personal Google for everyone.”

Pichai says the future is going to see massive computing power everywhere, with humans able to tap into it seamlessly with the strength of our voices.

All this new software and hardware is part of Google's race to stay on top of that. It includes a new phone called Pixel; a new Virtual Reality headset called Daydream; and a new automation device for your house called Google Home...
It’s all powered by what the company calls Google Assistant, which is designed to put the massive search and computing power Google at our immediate beck and call.

Google is far from first on this. Amazon already has a runaway hit in the Echo, which allows you to get answers, control your lights, and play music with your voice. And Apple has Siri on the iPhone. But as CNET's Scott Stein noted on CBS This Morning, this kind of artificial intelligence still needs some work. “The problem is Siri doesn't respond very well. I use it for basic tasks, but if you want to have a conversation,” said Stein.

Google has already improved on some of this. At least in the demo, Google Assistant seemed to understand and build on your previous questions to answer the next one.

Pichai says Google Assistant will keep getting better, building on its knowledge of you and your preferences so it ends up being your own personal Google. But at some point, doesn't that start getting a little creepy? Like in that movie "Her," where Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his operating system and it ends up dumping him.

Google Home will cost $129 and will start shipping November 4, The Pixel phone starts at $650, and you can pre-order it and Google Home starting Tuesday.


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