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Google reveals Project Astra: an experimental and powerful AI assistant for work and play

google project astra

Earlier this week, OpenAI demoed the use of its new AI model, ChatGPT-4o, by using a smartphone to have it answer voice questions with a natural voice. The demo also used the smartphone's camera as an input for answering questions as well.

Today, during the Google I/O 2024 keynote, the company revealed that its DeepMind division is working on a new AI assistant, which it currently calls "Project Astra." This AI assistant can use a smartphone or even a set of smart glasses to answer questions from its owner via voice commands.

In the demo video, the user asks Project Astra a number of questions about their immediate surroundings. In one example, the smartphone sees some crayons in a mug, and the person asks, "Astra, give me a creative alliteration about these." The AI assistant responded with:

Creative crayons color cheerfully. They certainly craft colorful creations.

In another part of the video demo, the camera views some code on a whiteboard, and the person asks, "What does that part of the code do?" "Astra" replied:

This code defines encryption and decryption functions. It seems to use AES-CBC encryption to encode and decode data based on a key and an initialization vector.

The AI assistant can also participate in more creative answers, When the camera sees a stuffed tiger and a real golden retriever, and the person asks "Astra" for a band name for both of them together, The AI assistant stated, "Golden stripes."

Project Astra will be demoed for anyone who physically attends this week's Google I/O conference. However, there's no word on when "Project Astra" might become available to the general public. It does sound like it could be a while before this AI assistant is officially launched,

Stay tuned for more news that will be revealed today during Google I/O 2024.

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