Alphabet to spotlight AI innovations at developer conference

By Thomson Reuters May 14, 2024 | 6:06 AM

By Max A. Cherney

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet is expected to announce on Tuesday how it is building on artificial intelligence across its businesses, a day after OpenAI demonstrated a new AI model that can work with sound and images in addition to text.

The annual I/O developer event is typically when Alphabet showcases its latest new technology and whatever it unveils will help investors evaluate its progress against Microsoft backed OpenAI. This event serves as a critical indicator of Alphabet’s competitive position in tech as it introduces AI into products such as search, used by billions of people around the world.

Google is expected to launch the next version of its Android operating system and a host of updates to its most advanced AI technology called Gemini.

A day ahead of the event, Google teased in a video a piece of software which appeared to demonstrate AI software that could draw conclusions about the live feed from the camera. The phone operator asked several questions and the app answered in a virtual-assistant-like voice.

The software looked to have similar capabilities as one of the features demonstrated by OpenAI in its launch of its latest AI model, GPT-4o.

OpenAI on Monday showcased its new multimodal AI model called GPT-4o, which enables ChatGPT to respond via voice in real-time and be interrupted, both hallmarks of realistic voice conversations that AI voice assistants like Google Assistant have found challenging. The company said it would be offering it to ChatGPT users for free, with no advertisements.

The conference is held at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. CEO Sundar Pichai and other executives are expected to begin presenting at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time.

(Reporting by Max A. Cherney in San Francisco; Additional reporting by Anna Tong in San Francisco; Editing by Stephen Coates)