Recap: Google I/O event 2017

Archived Design Development Product

The scientists share thoughts about Google I/O

Google I/O Keynote (Google I/O '17)

This Wednesday our team sat down and watched the Google I/O keynote to learn what technologies Google is rolling out for Android, Google Assistant, Google Home, Google Tango, and more. (If you missed the live broadcast, you can watch the keynote as well as other talks here.)

Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed at the keynote’s start that the number of monthly active Android devices now exceeds 2 billion. That includes smartphones, tablets, Android Wear devices, Android TVs, and and other devices that are based on the operating system.

We asked each of our team of designers and developers to share what they learned from the event, which technologies they’re most looking forward to working with, as well as what technology has the potential to disrupt a particular industry.

Team observations from Google’s I/O event:

  • Auto Machine learning (AutoML) is being used as one of the creative ways to compare Machine Learning models and create a new neural network from scratch.
  • The development of Google’s own chip called the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) V2 as a cloud AI offering and its ability to tackle training as well as inference
  • TensorFlow Lite on mobile devices helps making AI accessible on the mobile device directly. (TensorFlow is an open source software library for diverse applications of machine learning. It’s used for computation, data analysis and verification, as well as underlying design and training of machine learning algorithms.)
  • Google Assistant is coming to the big screen and uses individual voice detection to enable these use cases. Also, the Assistant continues to listen when it’s on the big screen, so you don’t have to keep repeating “Hey Google”.
  • Google Photos solves the photo sharing problem using face detection. Sharing photos with your significant other is a breeze. Google is using cloud-based image recognition capability to improve individual services.
  • Google is really looking to the future of machine learning in trying to get more developers involved instead of just the top experts.

Technology we most want to work with:

We look forward to working with Google’s newest Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning tools and services. Designing for this kind of “keyless UI” which includes things like contextual image and voice recognition will require many to rethink daily communication and user interactions. As machine learning continues to evolve, so too does our knowledge about ourselves and the. ways humans communicate and interact with each other.

We’re also looking forward to TPU, TensorFlow, Google Lens, and Google Assistant SDK.

Which technology could have an impact on a recent project/client?

We think Google Assistant is most likely to impact our recent projects and clients, particularly the new image and speech recognition features.

Google announced earlier this week that Google Assistant can now analyze the world around you with the help of your smartphone camera. Using a technology called Google Lens, the Assistant will analyze your surroundings and display relevant content on your screen. It can even localize your location using the photo. Google Assistant will now be available for iOS as well as Android, introducing a whole new set of users to the technology.

What technology has the most potential to disrupt an industry?

According to our CTO Vishi Gondi: “Google’s on-going advancements in machine learning have huge potential, but I’m not convinced they’ve figured out how to apply it in just the right ways to have broad adoption or mass appeal. Some flashy “features” like the standalone headsets for VR aren’t things I would necessarily use. But…some of the more subtle things (analyzing and selecting the “best” photos from my album), using machine learning to analyze cancer cell developments from x-ray imagery, etc… those could all gradually become very useful, seamless and integral to life.”

The rest of our team was in agreement that machine learning, TPU, and TensorFlow also have the potential to disrupt industries. During the event, our CEO, Bob Klein pointed out that “Our phones are becoming a hub, with the ability to access all it encompasses from other technology using an Assistant like Google home.”

In the coming months, our experienced team of designers and developers is looking forward to watching the product and platform innovation that continues to come from Google.

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