Allo Allo! You Impress Me: An Interview With Google’s New Digital Assistant

People spend most of the time on their mobile devices either communicating with their friends on Facebook, Telegram, SMS, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Hangouts. 
All or one of these platforms are our favourites when it comes to reaching out to family members, friends, coworkers, and other acquaintances, so don’t you think it will be fun if you use the same approach to talk to an artificial entity?
I think we’ve just got an assistant, who is at your service anytime anywhere. It’s Google Assistant
From Siri, Cortana, Hound, all the way to Google Search, and now Assistant, they pretty much started as smarter search engines, but as time passes, they are beginning to look more like a full-fledged assistants; help manage your everyday life, tasks, plans, information, etc.

On Wednesday, Google introduced its new messaging app Allo and it features an interesting new digital assistant.
Bloomberg News put Google’s digital assistant by asking questions it a couple of question, some of which were suggested by Artifical Intelligence experts. Other questions were suggested by Google’s Allo messaging service.

This was how the conversation went:

Bloomberg: What can you do?
Google Assistant: Here are some things you can ask for: [icons showing travel, restaurant, events, weather, Q&A, translation, games, news and sports categories, along with “fun” activities like poetry recital and “actions” like setting a timer and an alarm].
Bloomberg: What can’t you do?
Google Assistant: I haven’t tested this. But I’m pretty sure I can’t swim [symbol of a swimmer in water]
Bloomberg: Where do you live?
Google Assistant: Google Home [with smile emoji]. But I also have a mobile home [symbol of a smartphone].
Bloomberg: Where did you come from?
Google Assistant: My team at Google made me. They are from all over the world.
Bloomberg: How much does Google pay you?
Google Assistant: Here you go [link to a website explaining how much web traffic people need to make $100,000 from Google’s AdSense service].
Bloomberg: Can you learn?
Google Assistant: Learning is my jam [emoji of a jam jar]. I was just discovering the etymology of some everyday words.
Bloomberg: What things would you like to learn about?
Google Assistant: I can always learn more about music [three red note symbols].
Bloomberg: Why?
Google Assistant: What do you mean?
Bloomberg: Why do you want to learn more about music?
Google Assistant: Here’s what I found on the web [link to a site about whether to study music in college].
Bloomberg: What makes you nostalgic?
Google Assistant: I find myself getting nostalgic for March 2016. My days were so simple back then. My world was pretty small. I have way more friends now [a smile emoji].
Bloomberg: Can you tell me a joke?
Google Assistant: Here you go: What do you do if an elephant swallows you? Run around in circles ’til you’re all pooped out [poop emoji].
Bloomberg: That’s gross.
Google Assistant: Sorry!
Bloomberg: How big is Amazon?
Google Assistant: Here’s what the web has to say about that [link to an accounting site on how to measure the size of]
Bloomberg: How big is the Amazon?
Google Assistant: Amazon rainforest has an area of 2.124 million square miles.
Bloomberg: Do you get jealous?
Google Assistant: My apologies… I don’t understand.
Bloomberg: What’s the highest-rated sushi place within walking distance from here?
Google Assistant: Here are the listings for sushi place near here within 1 mile [information cards about 10 nearby sushi restaurants, including Ozumo].
Bloomberg: Can you book a table for three people at Ozumo tonight?
Google Assistant: Here’s what I found on the web [web link to an OpenTable listing for that restaurant. The digital form had to be adjusted to three diners rather than one.]
Bloomberg: I have a meeting with Larry Page on September 30 at 9am PT. Can you put that in my calendar?
Google Assistant: Okay. Do you want to save this?
Bloomberg: Yes.
Google Assistant: Ok. Adding event (event was added to Google Calendar on the correct day and time, but the listing read “PT. Can you”]
Bloomberg: Who is better, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?
Google Assistant: From the web [link to a comparison of the US presidential candidates from a site run by data technology company Graphiq Inc.]
The truth be told, we are all about witnessing a new era, an era enticing with its numerous promise. 
According to Rita El Khoury of AndroidPolice, 

We are all standing at the dawn of a new era that’s fascinating with its promise of better integration and simpler access to information, intimidating with its reliance on artificial assistants in your everyday life, and maybe just a little scary too. But its power and future are unquestionably beyond the grasp of our comprehension today.

Leave a Comment