Google Home Multitasking & Guiding Your Decisions

Google Home Multitasking & Guided Product Search

With almost no fanfare Google Home now has some important functionality – it can multitask. This is a big big leap forward and was first reported by CNET on November 29th but somehow slipped through the cracks until I found it mentioned earlier today.

I know one of my frustrations with the device since getting it has been it’s inability to perform basic chained functions and this has just been solved.  It’s not perfect by any means.  For example it handles commands like:

“Ok Google, play jazz music and tell me the weather.”

But it fails on a lot of others where comprehension is required. For example, when I ask it:

“OK Google, play jazz music and tell me the news.”

It simply doesn’t understand though each alone works fine. Admittedly, it can’t do both of these things at the same time however I don’t imagine it’ll be long before the intelligence” to understand this is present.

Add A Little Direction

Add to this the capability that also rolled out today in the US today to guide a user through a buying path. On your phone or Google Home device Google’s personal assistant will now guide users down a conversion path to the completion of a Goal. Here’s an example:

Get local help with your Google Assistant

I discussed the basic premise of this in my analysis of the Google patent “Guided Purchasing Via Smartphone,” over on Search Engine Land last April but we’re finally seeing it roll out. We are being steered to our conclusions.

In a lot of ways this is extremely helpful. We get what we want faster and more efficiently but there are some significant concerns around being guided by a system that’s incentivized to specific solutions. One can’t expect a completely unbiased view of which plumber (in this example) is selected.

The Push On Assistants

It’s very very clear that Google is pressing hard on personal assistants with two significant evolution occurring just a couple days apart. They’re making it easier to command and making it easier to be guided to a better conclusions BUT the question I have is how far does it go and how does it impact us? Will we always be guided to the decision that’s in our best interest? Will be trust AI and our personal assistants so much that we allow ourselves to be guided to things we didn’t want? Will they always interpret our intents properly?

It’s going to be a very very interesting next few year but right here – this is where the line got drawn in the sand.

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