Google I/O, the search giant’s annual developer conference, kicks off today. Google I/O is typically where executives and managers reveal the company’s plans, as well as some new products. This year looks to be no different.
The main event will be held Tuesday in Mountain View, a stone’s throw from Google’s headquarters. Google is expected to make a lot of announcements pertaining to advancing the company’s artificial intelligence tools.
Check back often, or click here to refresh the page, as Business Insider will provide real-time updates of the all-important keynote speech, beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific Time.
9:55 am: We’re just waiting for the show to start. Everyone is taking their seats and listening to some nice chillwave music in the meantime. Go ahead and look up “chillwave” while we wait.
9:57 am: There’s a festive feeling as usual. Lots of flags from countries all over the world.
10:00 am: The show has begun! Google’s playing a cute little video.
10:04 am: Google CEO Sundar Pichai takes the stage. He announces the 7,000 in attendance and the hundreds of thousands of people watching from around the world.
10:05 am: Sundar starts with a cheeseburger emoji joke, saying Google got the burger wrong last year. “The irony is, I’m a vegetarian in the first place.” The crowd laughs.
10:07 am: Today’s big theme is artificial intelligence. Pichai: “We have a timeless mission that feels as relevant today as when we started. AI is enabling us to do this in new ways, solving problems for our users around the world.”
10:11 am: Sundar is giving examples of how AI can help the world, from big ideas like AI helping doctors predict medical events, to using AI to isolate people’s voices when multiple people are talking.
10:13 am: Google shows off a video with a woman who uses Morse code to communicate, and how Google’s Gboard helps her with predictive, suggested text. She’s in attendance at I/O today. The crowd cheers.
10:16 am: Talking about using AI in the new version of Gmail. It can now autocomplete your messages in a feature called “Smart Compose.”
10:17 am: Sundar brings up Google Photos, another Google product built with AI from the ground up. He introduces a new feature called Suggested Actions: If you’re looking at wedding pictures, it will recognise your friend and let you share those photos with that person.
10:18 am: More Google Photos features: One tap can turn documents into PDFs, or correct the brightness in an image. You can even remove colour from backgrounds, or recreate black-and-white photos in colour.
10:19 am: The new Google Photos features roll out in the next couple of months.
10:20 am: Sundar brings up Google Assistant, and making it better. “We want it to be natural and comfortable to talk to.”
10:21 am: Interaction starts with a voice, and Google Assistant started with a voice, codenamed “Holly.” But 18 months ago, a new breakthrough called “Wavenet” has created a more natural voice that’s closer to how humans speak, so there are six new languages, which all greet Sundar, and sound equally robotic.
10:22 am: Sundar talks about making the voice more natural, so of course, here’s a video with John Legend providing the voice of Google Assistant.
10:24 am: John Legend’s voice is apparently coming to Google Assistant later this year? This wasn’t a joke?
10:25 am: Google exec Scott Huffman takes the stage to talk about all the various devices powered by Google Assistant, including over 5,000 devices and support for 30 languages in 80 countries.
10:27 am: Huffman says one thing Google is looking at is the annoying need to say “OK Google” every time you need it. “It shouldn’t be so hard — now you won’t have to say OK Google every time,” he said. You can now have more of a conversation, where it remembers your past answers. It’s a feature called “Continued Conversation,” and you can turn it on in the coming weeks.
10:29 am: You can use Continued Conversation to ask multiple things at once, called Multiple Actions. It’s more complicated than it sounds, but basically, Google will now be able to know if you’re asking multiple questions, and parse those questions out to give you the right answers. It’s pretty wild.
10:30 am: Huffman’s talking about the Google Assistant experience for families. But parents worry being bossy is a bad habit for kids to get into, since you don’t need to say “please.” That changes: Google Assistant will now be very kind to your requests, and even compliment you, when you say “please.”
10:32 am: Huffman introduces Lilian Rincon to show how voice and visual assistants can work together.
10:33 am: Rincon announces the first third-party smart displays using Google Assistant will go on sale in July. These devices bring the simplicity of voice with the ease of a touchscreen.
10:34 am: You can use Google Assistant to ask these video devices — basically Google Assistant-powered clones of the Amazon Echo Show — to watch YouTube videos (that’s gotta sting for Amazon, which can’t do that on their own devices anymore) and look up recipes. You can even see what your morning commute looks like on Google Maps.
10:36 am: Google Assistant has a new visual experience coming later this summer for Android, and for iOS later this year: It will give you a visual snapchat of your day, including your past interactions, upcoming trips, packages coming your way, and much more.
10:38 am: The new and improved Google Assistant will be coming to Google Maps this summer.
10:39 am: Rincon turns the stage back to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. He talks about the importance of a phone call, especially for connecting people to businesses. But Pichai says 60% of businesses don’t have an online booking service set up: Now, Google Assistant can actually call a business on your behalf to schedule appointments for you. Yes, Google Assistant will talk on your behalf. And it sounds just like a human. This is absolutely wild.
10:41 am: “That was a real conversation you just heard,” Pichai said. “It’s called Google Duplex.” It combines all of Google’s AI and machine learning efforts.
10:42 am: “We have many examples where the conversation doesn’t go as expected,” Pichai said. “We’re still developing this technology so we get the expectation right for businesses and customers.”
10:44 am: “This is going to be rolling out as an experiment in the coming weeks, so stay tuned,” Pichai said.
10:45 am: Pichai talks about FOMO, or the Fear of Missing Out, which is driving the need for everyone to respond to texts and notifications as quickly as possible. Google says it wants to help with something it calls “Digital Wellbeing,” which understands your habits, focuses on what matters, and helps you switch off and wind down so you can spend time with the people who matter.
10:46 am: YouTube will now tell you to take a break every now and then. You’ll be able to combine notifications into a daily digest. You can see exactly how you’re using your Android phone, and Google Assistant. It’s all about giving users as much information as possible to help them stay balanced and manage screentime.
10:48 am: Another area Google feels tremendous responsibility is news, Pichai said. He talks about the importance of supporting journalism given the challenging times for the industry.
10:49 am: Google reimagined its News product so it works for publishers, as well as readers. It’s now powered by artificial intelligence. Pichai introduces Trystan Upstill to talk more about the new Google News.
10:50 am: Upstill says the new Google News is all about keeping up with the news, helping you fully understand the story, and supporting the sources you care about.
10:51 am: Google News will now serve up all the news you care about right out of the box, and thanks to machine learning, it will continue to get better at showing you the news you care about. You can also switch over to see the stories that are generating the most news around the world.
10:53 am: Google News also has a new exclusive feature called Newscasts: It uses artificial intelligence and natural-language understanding to give you the basics for any given news topic, and help you dive in more deeply if you’d like.
10:55 am: One major emphasis in the new Google News: Everyone has access to the same information. “Full coverage.”
10:58 am: Subscribe with Google lets you access your paid content anywhere: On Google Search, Google News, and on the publishers’ own sites. This feature will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
10:58 am: The new Google News is rolling out in 157 countries, for Android and iOS, today. It will be available for everyone starting next week.
10:59 am: Now, we’re moving on from Google News to Android. Google has a cute little video to show off. And now, Dave Burke is on stage.
11:02 am: The growth of Android has helped fuel the shift from desktop to mobile, but Burke says AI is going to transform industries including tech, which brings us to Android P: the important first step to have AI at the core of the mobile operating system.
11:03 am: Android P is all about intelligence, simplicity, and digital wellbeing, Burke says.
11:04 am: With Android P, a new feature called Adaptive Battery gives you a more consistent battery experience. It uses on-device machine learning to figure out which apps you’ll use in the next few hours, and which ones you may not use, if at all.
11:05 am: Android P can also predict the level of brightness you’ll want on your phone, and it will also surface actions you will probably want to perform, like resuming a song or reaching out to a friend. You’ll also get app actions: If you search “Avengers Infinity War,” it can show you Fandango to buy tickets.
11:08 am: Google wants to make its machine-learning tools more accessible to those who may not have expertise in the area, hence the introduction of MLKit for developers. It provides ready-to-use models and lets you optimise for any platform, including desktop and mobile, Android and iOS.
11:10 am: In Android P, there’s a new system navigation that makes multitasking easier to do and understand. It places an emphasis on gestures instead of buttons. It looks very similar to the way iOS works on the iPhone X, where there’s a swipe button at the very bottom of the phone to help you navigate and multitask.
11:12 am: You’d have to think this new navigation system for Android P is laying the foundation for a Google-made phone without a home button and an edge-to-edge screen, like the iPhone X.
11:13 am: Really smart feature in Android P: If you’re looking at the screen and you rotate the phone, a button will pop up that lets you change the screen to landscape or portrait accordingly. Otherwise, you can keep the display the way it is.
11:14 am: Sameer Samat takes the stage. He’s going to talk about digital wellbeing in Android P.
11:16 am: Android P will give you an idea of your app usage, and developers can give you more detailed breakdowns of your activity. In YouTube, for instance, you can see your total watch time — but now you can control how much time you allot for yourself in the app.
11:17 am: Do Not Disturb mode will now silence the visual interruptions that pop up on the screen, in addition to all the audible notifications. That way, you don’t have to worry about pings, vibrations, or your screen turning on to distract you. Of course, you can set up a list of contacts that can always get through with a phone call, even if Do Not Disturb is turned on.
11:19 am: In Wind Down mode for Android P, the operating system will help you get ready for bed. It will turn the apps to grayscale, which is easier on the eyes but also encourages you to shut your phone off.
11:20 am: Google announces Android P Beta, which is available for Google Pixel and seven other devices from manufacturers starting today.
11:21 am: Jen Fitzpatrick takes the stage to talk about Google Maps.
11:22 am: Fitzpatrick gives an overview of Google Maps: It can give you different routes based on different forms of transportation, show you business times, the busiest hours of those businesses, and more — but Google is scratching the surface, Fitzpatrick says.
11:24 am: Google has been working on an updated version of Google Maps that helps you stay up to date with the things going on in your area based on your interests.
11:25 am: There’s a new tab for Google Maps called “For You,” which tells you more about what’s in your immediate area. There’s also a new feature called “Your Match,” where Google explains why a business is recommended just for you — maybe because you like Greek food and healthy food, and this new restaurant that opened near you has both those things.
11:26 am: The new version of Google Maps also lets you and your friends vote on a place to go.
11:27 am: The new version of Google Maps is coming to Android and iOS this summer. Aparna Chennapragada takes the stage to talk more about how Google Maps will use the camera and Google Lens technology to get around town more easily.
11:30 am: In the new version of Google Maps, you can use your phone’s camera (and augmented reality) to navigate yourself using Street View. You can wave your phone in front of you, and it will figure out your exact position to show you the Street View version of what you’re looking at in front of you, with giant arrows to point you where to go next. It’s very much like “Crazy Taxi,” but in the real world.
11:33 am: Now we’re talking about the magical software feature known as Google Lens, which uses your smartphone’s camera to study the world around you. Using this feature, you can point your phone at a book, highlight the text with your finger, and copy it to your phone (yes, really).
11:34 am: Google Lens can even help your personal style. If you see an outfit you like, you can point your camera at it and Google will help you find that item and buy it, and even show similar styles you might like.
11:36 am: Google Lens taps into the power of cloud GPUs to sift through images, words, phrases, objects, and more to do all of this processing in mere seconds. All of these new features, including Style Match and Text Selection, are coming in the next few weeks.
11:37 am: Aparna turns the stage over to John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, formerly Google’s self-driving car project, to talk about how artificial intelligence is helping autonomous cars.
11:41 am: Waymo is coming to Phoenix, Arizona, later this year. Krafcik says Waymo plans on partnering with lots of companies on rolling out its plans to make not only a better car experience, but “a better driver.”
11:43 am: Krafcik introduces Dmitri Dolgov to talk more about how Waymo uses artificial intelligence to inform the company’s self-driving car systems.
11:45 am: Dolgov explains how AI has helped identify people and objects and predict certain behaviours. He says Waymo cars have driven over 5 billion miles in simulation, with over 25,000 virtual cars driving through simulations during all hours of the day.
11:48 am: Dolgov welcomes back Jen Fitzpatrick to close out the morning session. She says she started at Google as an engineering intern, but was struck at how Google made products that have an impact. The same values are alive and well, she says.
11:49 am: Fitzpatrick says she wants as many voices as possible at Google, which is why the company invited a diverse range of speakers to talk about digital wellbeing and, of course, give the hundreds of technical talks you can only get at I/O.
11:50 am: That’s it for Google I/O’s keynote! Thanks for following along.
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