Did you know that there are now over  1 billion websites globally?   And of those websites 82% use a responsive design in which mobile phones are used to search, research and purchase online.  Striking as well is that there are 5X the amount of mobile phones per user as there are websites.

For 2017 the number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.77 billion. The number of mobile phone users in the world is expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019. In 2016, an estimated 62.9 percent of the population worldwide already owned a mobile phone.” -statista.com

Google is the largest and most used search engine globally.   Traditionally a  software company they have invested heavily in creating a search engine and other services that enhance the ‘search experience.   A front runner in the industry they offer top products from mobile phones to laptops and home entertainment.    In the past however their track record for consumer interest has lagged behind its competitors.   Struggling to keep up with the likes of the Apple iPhone it has sold less in a year than the iPhone makes in 3 days!

Even if it spurs broad consumer interest in the devices, Google’s track record for meeting demand hasn’t been good. Last year it had a dreadful time making enough of its original Pixel phones. By some estimates, the company sold little more than 1 million of them. On average, Apple sells a million iPhones every few days”. – businessinsider.co.uk

Recently however, Google has taken a different strategy.   They have been investing and exploring the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence.   Currently the Google Assistant which is the company’s voice-assistant technology that competes with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, but new technology is emerging which may be the next big thing.

Perhaps they see Assist and AI in more general terms, that could soon be a powerful tool integrated throughout our lives.    Perhaps a futuristic Google involves room temperature control, voice activated television, blinds that close if you request it and more than this.  Perhaps a future Google involves a massive database of knowledge that is personalised to the individual?  In fact the combination of data that is produced by Analytics, heat mapping and statistics together with Google Search algorithms and data, you could potentially predict a users needs in advance.

It’s the intelligence behind each hardware device that ultimately makes it the product worth purchasing.     Google Assist is a new software that is only a year old, but the difference between Microsoft Cortana, Alexa and Siri is that Google has the benefit of a massive data base of your search history, your email history and more.   They can draw on your user data to streamline Google Assist to be more focused and personalised to the user.

While  the capabilities of this software has endless room to grow, the question is do consumers want to continue to allow global knowledge about every idiosyncrasy in their lives?   Does AI help or hinder our futures?


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