Google Assistant: A promising “Life” tool or not?


Elena Gillis

Google Assistant helps with common tasks in day-to-day life. It is available on all digital platforms.

Andrés Bear, Staff Writer

Artificial Intelligence. Let’s break that term down. Could it stand for fake smart? Unreal wits?


Instead of finding synonyms to use, let us find an application for A.I. in our everyday lives.


Apple and Google have pursued consumer level usage of A.I. for the past couple of years. From advances in voice recognition services to deep learning programs, each company has made its own contributions to the field.


Both companies have integrated A.I. with the phones that the respective companies make and operate. Apple is known for their technology and pop culture icon, Siri while Google is simply known as “Assistant.”


“I personally don’t use [Siri or Assistant]. I do know they are used for marketing sometimes,” Coppell High School sophomore CJ Konwe said.


An example of such marketing would be when Burger King triggered Google Assistant to respond to the employee’s “Ok Google, What is the Whopper burger?


I personally found this marketing campaign to be distasteful. Many people use Google Assistant as a “helping hand” in the way that they speak to it instead of having to rely on manual input. These people have disabilities or inconveniences that allow the “Hey Google” Assistant feature to shine. Burger King was wrong to abuse that on every level.


Let us delve into the Google ecosystem a bit further. Its current developments in the field have made ripples in the industry leading to Apple playing catch up.


Google Home is Google’s foray in having a smart assistant in your living room.


There are three options available for people wanting to make their house smart. These include the Google Home Mini, Google Home and Google Home Max


As their name implies, the main difference between them is size. The features offered by the different devices vary slightly. The Mini is meant to be used as a desk companion, while the flagship Home is for the living room and the Max is a bigger audio-focused variant.


All speakers are equipped with Google Assistant and compatible with other speakers in the vicinity. In other words, if you have multiple Mini’s lying around they could be paired together to play music simultaneously.


I would recommend the Mini as it is considerably cheaper than the baseline Home throughout markets across the world. Not only that, but it has all of the useful functions the Home has.


Google Home Max appears to be a very unconvincing investment however. The audio quality might be lacking due to the absence of a signature sound. The speaker is tuned by google and not a dedicated audio company to the likes of Bose or Audio Technica.


The software is what makes the devices what they are.

With one simple gesture I can speak to my phone, or Google Home device, and ask what Thomas Jefferson’s height was. After I do that I can follow up with “What was his birthday?”.


I personally tested Assistants capabilities by going from that first question to, with gradual steps, his grandmother’s birth date.


“Following up” with questions previously asked allow for the tool to reach new heights.


That is where Siri and Google Assistant are different. Siri is for commanding while Google Assistant is for conversing. While it is more visually appealing for some, Siri is considerably inferior as an A.I. companion for my daily life. I use Google apps so the integration is there for me.


“Google Assistant is very good at figuring out what you need even if you ask it to do the same thing in entirely different ways,” Android Authority writer Joe Hindy said.


Assistant’s biggest shortcoming is the fact that integration with third party apps is rare and wonky. This is partially due to the fact that Google almost exclusively made Assistant to be used with Google apps.


You can not call someone on Skype or play songs from Pandora while using Assistant.


That doesn’t knock it down however Google Assistant is miles beyond Siri when it comes to pure features and performance. It has its flaws, but Google Assistant is the future of technology. The sheer power of the A.I. companion is bound to raise some eyebrows.

Follow Andrés @_andresbear