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Google unveils ‘future of AI assistants’ with Project Astra. Everything you need to know

Google introduced a new multimodal AI agent called Project Astra, which is capable of answering user’s queries in real time via text, audio or video inputs. In a demo video shared by Google, the new AI assistant can be seen conversing with the user and answering questions in real-time, akin to functionality OpenAI showcased with its GPT-4o model just a day back. 

Also Read | Google I/O Event 2024: From Gemini 1.5 Pro, Gemini 1.5 Flash, AI Overviews to Android, here’s everything announced

Google’s new AI assistant was able to identify the objects in the room, recognize and explain a specific part of the code, figure out its exact location by looking outside the window, find the user’s glasses and even find creative names for a dog. Moreover, Google showcased the use of Project Astra being used via a smartphone or smart glasses, suggesting that there could be a major Gemini powered revamp to Google Lens down the road. 

Google says Project Astra is able to process information faster by encoding video frames, combing video and speech input into a timeline of events and caching all this information for recall. Moreover, Google has also made changes to the sound of new AI assistant, making it more natural sounding while providing users with the option of switching between different voices.

Explaining the need of an autonomous AI agent, Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis said, “To be truly useful, an agent needs to understand and respond to the complex and dynamic world just like people do — and take in and remember what it sees and hears to understand context and take action. It also needs to be proactive, teachable and personal, so users can talk to it naturally and without lag or delay”

Project Astra’s capabilities will be coming to various Google products including the Gemini app via the Gemini Live interface later this year. 

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Published: 15 May 2024, 07:43 AM IST

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