announced a new smartphone, a watch and a wave of software improvements

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I / O, began on Wednesday, May 11. The Californian company took the opportunity to present several new products and various improvements to its services. Most will be available in the coming months.

A phone and a watch

Google has unveiled its new mid-range smartphone, the Pixel 6a, which will be marketed one hundred euros more expensive than its predecessor Pixel 4a: 459 euros. This price increase is partly justified by the more robust construction of this new mobile, which combines metal and glass where its predecessor was coated with plastic.

The Pixel 6a.

With its 6.1-inch diagonal screen, the Pixel 6a will sport a slightly more compact size than that of the current average smartphone, which will make it more comfortable in the hand, a rare quality. It will carry two photo sensors, including a wide angle.

Google surprised by unveiling a watch, the Pixel Watch, scheduled for later this year. The Californian company has remained vague on important points such as battery life or price. But the design of this watch has caught attention: its screen is covered with a spectacular glass dome, which one might fear, however, is fragile.

The Pixel watch.

Improved services

The Google Maps mapping service will soon make it possible to calculate a route that minimizes fuel consumption, with the dual goal of spending less and reducing the carbon footprint of the trip. Upon request, the Google Docs word processor can display a summary of the open document, inserted at the top of the page. The Google Meet video conferencing app will provide people who missed a meeting with a literal transcript.

As with Google Photos, the Google image gallery will be able to automatically retouch images, paying close attention to the complexions of the subjects, classified according to the Monk scale, which lists ten different shades.

It will be possible to calculate the fuel consumption with Google Maps.

An intelligent search

You will soon be able to search by combining photos with other criteria. For example, by photographing a plate of pasta, then associating this image with the search nearby, Google can theoretically list the Italian restaurants nearby.

Even more surprising, by filming the chocolate aisle of a supermarket, we can ask Google to point to, for example, hazelnut-free dark chocolate bars. It remains to be seen how effective and easy to use this smart visual search will be.

Regarding privacy, Google will allow people to report inconvenient personal information, such as an address or phone number mentioned on a website, and request its removal from the search engine. Google does not have the power to remove this information from the sites that host it, but the company can stop showing it in its search results.

Read also: Personal data: Google extends its policy of deleting certain private information

A playground for artificial intelligence

Google has announced the creation of a kind of open access laboratory on the Internet, the Test Kitchen, where you can play with various experimental artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Imagine it will launch the AI ​​by telling it the first sentence of a story – the AI ​​will figure out the next paragraph, then offer different options for the rest, in the form of buttons.

The program

Tell me about iton the contrary, it will start the conversation itself by offering a starting point. Its user will then have the opportunity to interrogate the AI ​​by asking questions orally. According to Google, even if the user tries to take the conversation in a different direction, Tell me about it “I’ll try to bring it back to the original theme”.

Finally, indicating List it a project such as “cactus growth”, the AI ​​will immediately present the user with a list of tasks to complete in order to achieve it. As Google CEO Sundar Pichai points out, these experimental AIs make a lot of mistakes and can even produce offensive text. Google, whose goal is to improve the performance of these AIs, will provide its users with a tool to report problems.

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