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Once again, Google parent Alphabet easily beats Wall Street analysts’ revenue expectations. For further growth and innovation, the tech giant is focusing in particular on artificial intelligence.

Speaking to analysts and investors about the latest quarterly results, Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai leaves no doubt about his priorities: Artificial Intelligence is at the top of his agenda. AI models are to become more powerful and arrive in everyday life in the form of applications and services.

Google wants to improve AI conversations

“Investments in artificial intelligence will play a key role, and we will continue to make improvements to conversational interfaces such as Assistant,” says Pichai at the beginning of the conversation, in which he describes and classifies the corporate strategy. He said research is “progressing at an incredibly rapid pace” and Google is determined to lead the market.

Pichai points to advances in Google’s AI research over the past year: the MUM multimodal trained model for search, which should “soon” enable a new search method using images and words simultaneously. Google also has LaMDA, an AI model optimized for natural dialog, in development.

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The Google CEO also points to Pathways, an AI architecture that Google’s AI chief Jeff Dean first unveiled last fall. Pathways is intended to pave the path toward more general AI systems that can handle “thousands or millions” of tasks, rather than being trained for each task individually.

Alphabet’s AI research also enables innovation beyond Google’s core search product, Pichai said. In this context, he points to Deepmind’s protein folding prediction AI Alphafold and the combination of AI software and hardware in the Pixel 6 smartphone.

Augmented reality is also in Google’s sights

The analysts also ask Pichai for his opinion on a second possible future theme: Augmented Reality. Google is allegedly working on AR glasses with the code name Iris, which could release in 2024.

But Pichai isn’t one to let his guard down. There are “several areas of interest,” and AR is a big area as an additional layer of information and services in existing offerings like Maps, YouTube, or Google Meet, Pichai said.

“We’ve been investing there for a long time and will continue to play a role,” Pichai said.

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Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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