Latest Google technology merger brings interface developers into company
For years, Google has associated itself with grand ideas and forward-thinking projects. Knowing this, it makes sense that one of its recent company mergers would involve artificial intelligence. While it didn't mention any ambitious "moonshot" programs in its recent blog post on the deal, Google did acknowledge that it was turning to its new staff members from Api.ai for assistance building conversational interfaces.
As it says on its website, Apl.ai specializes in voice command features, and has created its own platform to help integrate this function. It is also the team behind the Assistant app, which reportedly has more than 40 million users.
In its blog statement, Google listed some of the specific ways developers have used the company's services, including with popular apps such as Facebook Messenger and Slack. It also said that the Api.ai team helps developers "continuously improve" interfaces, indicating a continuing value to the collaboration.
Writing for TechCrunch, Greg Kumparak said that Api.ai's tools focus on easing communication with artificial intelligence. He said that the developers won't have to keep "endlessly reinventing the wheel" with the use of these services, and incorporates 15 different languages and dialects.
Google's interest in robotics has changed over the years. In 2013, the company acquired robotics firm Boston Dynamics, but more recently, Google announced that it would sell off the acquisition. In May, Tech Insider reported that Toyota Research Institute was close to finalizing the purchase, something an unnamed former Boston Dynamics worker called "a friendly buyout."
This deal came after reports of tensions between Boston Dynamics and Google. A March Bloomberg story said that Dynamics was excluded from Google's advanced research group, and that Google's parent company believed the robotics company was not on track to produce anything marketable soon enough.