After Paris Debacle, All Eyes on Google I/O

Here’s sneak peak into the highly-awaited Google I/O
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Google has revealed the details of the next edition of its annual developer conference, I/O, which will be held on May 10, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California. As usual, the company will “broadcast [the event] in front of a limited live audience, and throw it open to everyone online”.

Keeping up with the tradition, Google revealed the date with a tricky puzzle designed for developers to solve. 

The Pichai-led firm hasn’t officially shared any plans for what’s in store for the event yet. But a few leaks surfacing on the internet are already fueling the fire that has raged ever since the company’s ‘Live in Paris’ debacle in February. 

Not Quiet on the AI Front 

While Google I/O is a developer-focused event, it is typically home to big announcements that developers and non-developers alike care about. One of the main talking points this year should be AI, and a few hardware announcements. This year, the expectation revolves mostly around the natural language AI Google is developing. News about Bard (Google’s experimental conversational AI), and other tools to write code, or test product prototypes is also awaited. Google fans are also expecting new Android updates and Pixel 7a.

Google already released the first developer preview of Android 14, and users are hoping to get a much closer look at it during the conference. Certainly, Google may introduce a bundle of Android 14 updates and explain the same in a demo. On top of this, a few innovations that the company could reveal this year include an image generation studio, AI test Kitchen iteration (used to publicly test upcoming AI features), a video summarisation tool, and a wallpaper creation tool for Google Pixel phones. 

On Limits

Some fans are expecting Google to outplay while the rest doubt it. Also, a shift to conversational AI will put a limit on Google’s Ad revenue, which makes up around 80% of the company’s revenue on Google properties and YouTube. Google is expected to balance its business and innovation – it’s time it did. 

Another issue with the tech giant releasing updates is that it shows off cool features that would be available in future or be limited to a specific device, region, or researcher. The company could also heavily lean on the announcements being “beta” or “preview” as a way to avoid major errors. 

Google seems to be feeling the heat. It needs a polished product and an organised event to timely respond to OpenAI and Microsoft’s internet sensation ChatGPT. Meanwhile, you can catch up on what happened at last year’s I/O, which had several interesting tidbits.

Recapping 2022

I/O is largely about talks focused on key updates for Android and Wear operating systems. AI has been a cornerstone of the event in recent years. In an early 2000 interview, Page said AI would be the ultimate version of Google. But the company has remained in the same position since it has released no major adaptable innovation in recent years.  

Last year, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai announced LaMDA 2 at the I/O conference. The tech giant launched LaMDA in 2021 and no further update on the model has been made since Blake Lemoine claimed that the ‘AI was sentient’. Pichai had also said the company is continuing to advance its conversational capabilities and large language models are key to this. 

Hopefully, in the upcoming annual event, Google will opt for choreographed demonstrations unlike the last event to show off its technology. After all, another fiasco might lead to its share prices dropping, again. 

Google activated code red and called in help from founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin following ChatGPT’s launch. The company already reacted with Bard, but maybe this has more to offer on the AI front.

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Tasmia Ansari
Tasmia is a tech journalist at AIM, looking to bring a fresh perspective to emerging technologies and trends in data science, analytics, and artificial intelligence.

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