Categories: Tech News

OK Google, Get Me a Coke: Giant AI Demos With Bots to Get Soda

Alphabet Inc’s Google is combining the eyes and arms of physical robots with the knowledge and conversational skills of virtual chatbots to help its employees find soda and chips in break rooms with ease.

The mechanical waiters, shown in action to reporters last week, embody an artificial intelligence breakthrough that paves the way for multipurpose robots as easy to control as those that perform individual, structured tasks like vacuuming or standing guard .

Google bots are not ready for sale. They only perform a few dozen simple actions, and the company hasn’t yet integrated them with the “OK, Google” summoning feature that consumers are familiar with.

While Google says it’s pursuing development responsibly, adoption could ultimately be stalled by concerns such as bots becoming surveillance machines or equipped with chat technology that could yield offensive responses, as Meta Platforms Inc and others have experienced in recent years.

Microsoft Corp and Inc are conducting comparable research on robots.

“It will be some time before we can get a firm idea of ​​the direct business impact,” said Vincent Vanhoucke, Google’s senior director of robotics research. When asked to help clean up a spill, Google’s bot recognizes that grabbing a sponge is a feasible and more sensible response than apologizing for creating the mess.

A Google robot moves while carrying a bag of potato chips during a demonstration for members of the media in a micro kitchen at the Google Robotics Research Space in Mountain View, California, US, on August 11 of 2022. (Image credit: Reuters)

Robots naturally interpret spoken commands, weigh possible actions against their capabilities, and plan smaller steps to achieve demand.

The chain is made possible by infusing the robots with language technology that makes it possible to understand the world from Wikipedia, social networks and other web pages. Similar artificial intelligence underlies chatbots or virtual assistants, but it hasn’t been applied to bots as expansively before, Google said.

He unveiled the effort in a research paper in April. The addition of a more sophisticated AI language since then boosted bots’ command success to 74% from 61%, according to a company blog post on Tuesday. Everyday Robots, a subsidiary of Alphabet, designs the robots, which for now will be limited to grabbing snacks for employees.


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