Google packs more artificial intelligence into new Pixel phones, raises prices for devices by $100

Google on Wednesday revealed the upcoming Pixel phone model that will feature other smart devices that can write text and photos that the technology can also edit.

Putting more artificial intelligence, or AI, into Google’s products marks the next step in bringing more technology into the mainstream — a move that the company’s executives announced at their annual developer conference this month. five years ago.

“Our goal is to make AI more useful for everyone, confidently and efficiently,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice president of tools and services, said at an event Wednesday in New York.

As if to leave no doubt about Google‘s current priorities, Osterloh described the new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones as a way to get “AI in your hands.”

The next step will involve getting the 7-year-old Google Assistant to support the company’s new AI chatbot, Bard, to work. Bard’s expansion comes just two weeks after Google began integrating its AI chatbot with other popular company services such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube.

Google is leaving it up to each user to decide whether to allow Bard to interact with other services, seeking to address concerns about AI analyzing sensitive information as it seeks to learn more about language and people.

One of the new tricks that the Bard assistant is said to be able to do is to analyze the photos taken on the phone by the Google-powered Android app and generate a short description suitable for sharing on social media.

As Google has done with most of its AI initiatives, the Google Assistant powered by Bard will only be available to a limited audience before it is gradually offered to owners of the new Pixels with optional features.

As usual in the company, many other technologies in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro phones revealed on Wednesday will be similar to the current version of last year.

One of the biggest selling points of the new phone will be improved cameras, including more AI editing features that will be available on the Pixel 8 Pro.

AI features will be able to search for beauty photos, zoom in on parts of images, replace faces taken with other photos in group photos, and delete objects and people from images.

Google is counting on the new AI features added to this year’s lineup to account for the price increase — with the starting price for the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro increasing by $100 over last year’s models. This will make the Pixel 8 sell for $700 and the Pixel 8 Pro for $1,000 when they go on sale in stores next week.

Apple raised the starting price of its high-end iPhone by $100 when the new model was released last month, indicating that inflationary pressure is starting to raise the price of devices that have become an important part of modern life.

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The Pixel 8 Pro will also be able to take people’s heat – an addition that could be a draw card during an outbreak like the various types of COVID that are developing. But Google is still trying to get legal approval to make this right available in the United States.

The 2020 phone, the Honor Play 4 Pro made by Huawei, can also check the temperature, so Google is not completely broken.

Despite generally positive reviews, the Pixel phone hasn’t made a dent in the market dominated by Samsung and Apple since Google started making the device seven years ago.

But they have gained ground in recent years, with the Pixel’s share of the popular smartphone market now hovering around 4%, compared to less than 1% three years ago. according to research firm International Data Corp.

Google can make a phone that doesn’t generate huge sales because it brings in more than $200 billion a year from its digital advertising network based on its main search engine. Much of the advertising revenue comes from the billions of dollars Google pays each year to make its search engine the first gateway to the Internet and the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy lines.

The deals that gave Google search engine a lucrative position in phones and computers are at the center of an ongoing antitrust case in Washington, where the US Justice Department is trying to prove its claims against Google. use its power to prevent competition and innovation. .

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