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Tuesday, Oct 03, 2023

Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.

Google is set to revolutionize its seven-year-old smart assistant by harnessing the power of generative artificial intelligence (AI). The tech giant aims to elevate its voice-powered software, similar to Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa, to new heights.
Google has announced a major reshuffle of its Assistant unit, intending to supercharge its products with generative artificial intelligence, or AI. The move involves a small number of layoffs and is aimed at transforming the user experience of its seven-year-old smart assistant, placing it on par or even surpassing competitors such as Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa.

Peeyush Ranjan, Google's vice president of engineering at Assistant, is leading the initiative, which includes the integration of large language model technology into Google Assistant.

Francoise Beaufays, previously heading the Speech team responsible for voice commands, will now work under Sissie Hsiao, who oversees both the Bard and Assistant projects. The reshuffle is a demonstration of Google's commitment to staying at the cutting edge of AI advancements.

The Assistant, widely used across Google's array of devices including mobile phones, smart displays, televisions, and even vehicles via the Android Auto platform, is expected to deliver high-quality, AI-driven speech experiences with this update.

Google's move comes at a time when other tech giants, such as Amazon, are recognising the potential of generative AI and integrating it into their products.

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