Google is embarking on a major reorganization of its Assistant unit to harness the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and enhance its voice-powered software. The company aims to leverage large language model (LLM) technology to transform its Assistant into a more advanced and versatile tool. The move comes with a small number of layoffs, but Google is committed to providing affected employees with a window of opportunity to find other positions within the company.
Supercharging Assistant with LLM Technology
Peeyush Ranjan, Google’s vice president of engineering at Assistant, emphasized the need for delivering high-quality experiences to users. Ranjan believes that generative AI holds immense potential to augment people’s lives, and he envisions a supercharged Assistant powered by LLM technology. While some members of the Assistant team have already begun working on this initiative, others are being reassigned within Google.
The reorganization also affects Google’s “Speech” team, responsible for voice commands. Francoise Beaufays, the former head of Speech, will now work under Sissie Hsiao, who oversees Bard and Assistant. Beaufays expressed her excitement about the growing importance of AI in various products and announced that some members of the Speech team will focus specifically on Bard, an integral part of Assistant.
The Assistant executives believe that these changes will enable the division to operate with greater speed and focus. Google spokesperson Jennifer Rodstrom affirmed the company’s commitment to enhancing Assistant using LLMs and providing high-quality experiences to the millions of people who rely on the tool. With the advancements in generative AI, Google aims to integrate this technology into as many products as possible.
Generative AI has experienced rapid development, with Google recognizing its potential to respond intelligently and creatively to text-based queries and even convert text into images. OpenAI’s ChatGPT has also emphasized the significance of generative AI, prompting Amazon to incorporate it into Alexa products. This growing trend poses a challenge to Google, which has traditionally dominated internet search. However, Google’s updates to Bard, such as expanding to more languages and introducing audio responses, demonstrate their commitment to staying at the forefront of innovation.
With its latest reorganization, Google is positioning itself to leverage generative AI technology and provide users with a supercharged Assistant experience. By embracing LLMs, Google aims to enhance Assistant’s capabilities and deliver high-quality experiences to millions of users worldwide. As the advancements in generative AI continue, it is clear that Google is committed to staying ahead of the curve and maintaining its position as a leader in the technology landscape.