Google’s once-a-year product showcase on Wednesday confirmed what employees and rivals have been saying for months: the company is playing catch-up to rivals in conversational artificial intelligence and other fronts. During its annual event for software developers, the company announced new AI features for web search, Docs and Bard—its answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot—but none of them seemed more advanced than what rivals have already launched.
Still, Google’s preview of new features was a reminder of key advantages it holds: billions of users who type an unfathomable amount of text into the company’s products, from its search engine to Google Docs. As the company incorporates more conversational AI into its products, it can use the resulting text conversations to improve the quality of the AI.
Here are four takeaways from the event: