Google I/O and Microsoft Build: Conference Highlights

By Rose Jao
Google I/O and Microsoft Build: Conference Highlights

During the week of May 7th 2018, both Google and Microsoft hosted their annual developer conferences. Microsoft Build took place in Seattle, Washington, and Google IO was held in Mountain View, California.

Highlights from Google IO:

  1. Assistant Duplex technology: Google showed a stunning demo of Google Assistant’s upcoming capabilities, using Google’s work with natural speech to make autonomous phone calls on the user’s behalf. In the video, which was a real phone call between Google Assistant and a receptionist at a hair salon, Assistant booked a hair appointment while sounding unbelievably close to a real human. Read more here.
  2. Android P: Google is making a lot of changes with Android, including iPhone-like navigation gestures, a focus on “Digital Well Being”, updated “Do Not Disturb” mode, and more. Unfortunately, we don’t know what the “P” stands for yet, but you can read more here.
  3. Google Photos meets AI: Artificial Intelligence was a running theme throughout I/O, and Google Photos was no exception. Google is introducing a Photos feature called “Smart Actions” that will allow editing and enhancing photos with one tap, such as changing black-and-white shots into colors. Read more features here!

Highlights from Microsoft Build:

  1. Tech for people with disabilities: According to CNET’s article, Microsoft “announced a $25 million, five-year program to encourage software and device developers to design products using artificial intelligence that are aimed at the disabled community” called Accessibility for AI.
  2. Alexa and Cortana will work together: Microsoft’s general manager of Cortana (Megan Saunders) and Amazon’s SVP (Tom Taylor) came together to announce future collaboration between Alexa and Cortana. At Build, the two demonstrated some tasks using Cortana for work-related activities and Alexa for home and personal. Read more in-depth examples here.
  3. Conference rooms of the future: At Build, Microsoft showed the audience a glimpse into seriously high-tech conference rooms. Some of the features include 360-degree cameras that can recognize attendees, microphones that can transcribe different languages, and using artificial intelligence to follow up on verbal action items. Read more here.

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