Assistant on the Google Pixel XL.
Assistant on the Google Pixel XL. (source: Maurizio Pesce on Flickr)

In this episode of the O’Reilly Bots Podcast, Pete Skomoroch and I speak with Brad Abrams, group product manager of Google Assistant, the company’s new AI-driven bot that lives in many different contexts, including the Pixel phone, the Allo messaging app, and the Google Home voice-controlled speaker.

Discussion points:

  • “Actions,” Google’s API for Assistant plug-ins. These are available for Google Home now, and will be rolled out for other instances of Assistant later.
  • The relationship between Assistant and Google’s Pixel phone.
  • Google’s plans for the recently acquired API.ai, and where it fits in with Assistant.
  • Google’s WaveNet technology, a text-to-voice engine that uses neural networks.
  • Google’s voice user interface design guidelines, and how Google uses different voices in different settings.