Google unveils a new conversational virtual assistant Google Assistant

Google has unveiled a new conversational digital assistant called Google Assistant, building up on its existing digital assistant Google Now and making it more assistive to users.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Google Assistant will allow users to have an ongoing two-way conversation between them and Google in helping them get things done in the real world. Like Google Now, it will gradually learn more about users' context and improve with more relevant information.

"We think of this as building each user their own individual Google" Pichai said, adding that the service will leverage Google's years of investments in machine learning, artificial intelligence and natural language processing.

This service also extends to chats wherein users can ask queries, get relevant answers and follow up with more specific queries. It could also execute specific tasks like booking tickets or changing reservation times among others. In essence, think of Google Now with chat bot integration.

During his keynote, Pichai also gave an example to provide a hint on where they intend to take the service in the future.

Users can ask movie suggestions to watch, to which Assistant responds with available movies and theatre locations nearby. One can then follow up with a comment like "We'd like to bring the kids this time" to narrow down the choices to family-related movie titles. Assistant will then follow up to ask whether the user wants to complete the purchase by buying tickets.

Pichai claimed that its natural language processing is "an order of magnitude ahead of everyone else," thereby indicating an edge over rivals Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa.

This assistant will be integrated into Google's new conversational products including its messaging app Allo and its Amazon Echo competitor Google Home that is releasing later this year.

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