Voice assistants have been part of our lives for a long time already. Even though they have been customer friendly for a long time, we didn’t use them. Since technology has advanced, there’s also a big jump with artificial intelligence that helps making our interactions with assistants better. It’s fascinating to see how assistants – like Siri – have been improving over time. Since then there are a lot of new competitors, and none of them are perfect just yet. I’m sure that artificial intelligence is going to change how we work and how we do stuff. For example, just check out how ‘quick replies’ make our lives ‘easier’ while answering emails… For me, it’s always amazing to see how new technology makes our lives better but also different.
There are so many virtual assistants out there, but I want to focus on Google Assistant since it’s already available on most of our Android devices today. That’s also one of the most important factors of why I’m writing this article. Even though Google Assistant was a relatively ‘closed’ system, Google announced that they are working on improving artificial intelligence at this year’s Google I/O (2017). They were also talking about opening AI (Google Assistant) to the developers which is awesome if you’d ask me.
There are yet not many examples of how the integrations works but one of the best one must be IFTTT integration. Well, if you don’t know what IFTTT is you are probably living under a rock; since this is one of the most influential automation sites out there. One of the coolest things about it is that you don’t need to have an app on your phone if you want to integrate new stuff to your Google Assistant. That means that the app won’t drain your battery, but you can still use those integrations with the Google Assistant. And yes, the integration works with all of the devices using Google Assistant so if you don’t have Google Home, you are totally fine.
I need to tell that there is also other new stuff that you can do with Google Assistant. Some of the apps have already integrated some of their features into Google Assistant, and that’s also something I like to see. Not just apps, there are also some website that provide some of their services/features to Google Assitant. One of the best I found is The Akinator; you probably know it from YouTube videos or your friend’s phone. Well, it’s a website/app that guesses the character that you are currently thinking about. That’s something already available on Google Assistant, and you can use it without having the app. Just say ‘Ok Google’…’Play Akinator.’ Just like that and you are already playing the game right via Google Assistant.
Well, Akinator is a little bit goofy and not useful except for some entertainment. More important things to try outcomes from IFTTT – If This Then That. IFTTT is a web service that you’ve probably heard about. Recently they launched new selection called ‘Do more with Google Assistant.’ It’s probably one of the more exciting things since the start of IFTTT. You can connect your IFTTT account to Google Assistant and add some additional commands. It works well, but for now, there’s no way of creating your own commands which is a little bit disappointing. IFTTT has some excellent services that you can use to create your own ‘recipes,’ but for now, that’s limited to things only they have created. I hope that IFTTT will add an option to add custom services so you can build your commands but that’s probably not only on their side to do so. You can try out those recipes right now. If you have IFTTT account that’s connected to Google, you are ready to go. Just visit IFTTT here. Select and turn on the recipes that you seem useful and try them out on your phone via Google Assistant. There are plenty of options to pick from, but I’m sure some of you might like to create their commands. But for that, we will need to wait.
Even though the technology has progressed a lot, we have a big and long road ahead of us. The new AI brings a lot of new things to the table. I’m curious, and can’t wait to what the future has to offer, but I’m really interested in things that we can already use. Don’t know what the future of AI and artificial assistants has to hold, but I’m very excited about it. What’s going to be the next big thing in AI is the question for a million dollars, but we may already answer it.
I’m sure that there is plenty stuff that you can do using Google Assistant. I hope that you’re going to tell me some of your tricks in the comments below. If you have any question or feedback, you can also comment on this post. Oh, and I need to mention that neither Google nor IFTTT didn’t sponsor this article and I’m writing it only because I enjoy using their services a lot.