Google is creating a new, more sophisticated Android AI assistant called Pixie set to arrive with its Pixel 9 phone, according to a report from The Information. Based on the company’s new Gemini large language model (LLM), it’ll be able to perform “complex and multimodal tasks” like giving you directions to the nearest store to buy a product you photographed on your smartphone.
The assistant will be exclusive to Google’s Pixel devices and use data from Google products like Gmail and Maps. That would help it “evolve into a far more personalized version of the Google Assistant,” the report states. It appears to be a separate product from Google’s Assistant with Bard showed off at Made By Google in October.
If accurate, the report on the update shows Google making whiplash changes to its AI roadmap to keep rival OpenAI in its sights. Google only just revealed its Gemini AI last week as an answer to GPT-4, calling it “the most capable model we’ve ever built.” It also announced that Gemini would come to Android via a new product called Nano, giving your phone the capability to do things like summarize conversations and calls without the need to be online.
As a reminder, Gemini launched last week as an integrated multimodal AI, rather than multiple models stacked together (parts of Google’s Gemini demo were reportedly staged, however). That will supposedly allow it to “seamlessly understand and reason about all kinds of inputs from the ground up, far better than existing multimodal models.” With Pixie powered by Gemini, it could be a far more sophisticated personal assistant than, say, Google Assistant. Gemini will also power the next generation of Bard, Google’s AI chat assistant.
As with past Google products, though, it’s going to be hard for consumers to grok (see what I did there) all the different AI offerings. We’ve now got Pixie, Bard, Gemini, Gemini Nano (for smartphones), Gemini Pro (for Chrome, API calls and more) and Gemini Ultra, coming in 2024. By contrast, OpenAI has kept things relatively simple with GPT-4 being its LLM, ChatGPT being the chat assistant, and DALL-E the image generator. Most savvy consumers have at least heard of those things, but Google has once again made it hard for people to keep up with its own product family.