Google packs more artificial intelligence into new Pixel phones, raises prices for devices by $100

FILE - A Google sign hangs over an entrance to the company's new building, Sept. 6, 2023, in...
FILE – A Google signal hangs over an entrance to the corporate’s new constructing, Sept. 6, 2023, in New York. Google on Wednesday, Oct. 4, unveiled a next-generation Pixel smartphone lineup that can be infused with extra with extra synthetic intelligence instruments able to writing captions about photographs that may be altered by the know-how, too.(AP Picture/Peter Morgan, File)

(AP) – Google on Wednesday unveiled a next-generation Pixel smartphones lineup that can be infused with extra with extra synthetic intelligence instruments able to writing captions about photographs that may be altered by the know-how, too.

The injection of extra synthetic intelligence, or AI, into Google’s merchandise marks one other step within the firm’s try and deliver extra of the know-how into the mainstream – a push they signaled they had been embarking upon throughout their annual developer’s convention 5 months in the past.

“Our focus is on making AI extra useful for everybody in a manner that’s daring and accountable,” Rick Osterloh, Google’s senior vice chairman of units and companies, stated throughout Wednesday’s occasion held in New York. As if to go away little doubt about Google’s present priorities, Osterloh described the brand new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional telephones as a conduit for having “AI in your hand.”

The corporate’s subsequent strikes will embrace permitting its 7-year-old Google Assistant to faucet into the corporate’s just lately hatched AI chatbot, Bard, to carry out duties. The expanded entry to Bard comes simply two weeks after Google started connecting the AI chatbot to the corporate’s different common service equivalent to Gmail, Maps and YouTube.

One of many new tips that the Bard-backed assistant is meant to have the ability to do is scan a photograph taken on a cellphone powered by Google’s Android software program and generate a pithy caption appropriate for posting on social media. As Google has been doing with most of its AI gambits, the Bard-backed Google Assistant initially will solely be accessible to a take a look at viewers earlier than it’s regularly supplied on an opt-in foundation to extra homeowners of the newest Pixels.

As has develop into frequent throughout the trade, many of the different know-how within the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional telephones unveiled throughout an occasion in New York can be much like what has already been accessible in final 12 months’s fashions.

One of many major promoting factors of the brand new telephones can be improved cameras, together with extra AI-empowered modifying instruments that can principally be accessible on the Pixel 8 Professional. The AI options will be capable of spruce up photographs, zoom into sure elements of photos, substitute faces taken from different photos in group pictures and erase objects and other people fully from photos.

Google is relying on the brand new AI twists added to this 12 months’s lineup can be sufficient to justify a worth improve – with the beginning costs for each the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Professional growing by $100 for final 12 months’s comparable fashions.

That can outcome within the Pixel 8 promoting for $700 and the Pixel 8 Professional for $1,000 once they go on sale in shops subsequent week. Apple additionally raised the beginning worth of its top-end iPhone by $100 when its newest fashions got here out final month, signaling inflationary pressures are beginning to drive up the prices of units which have develop into important items of recent life.

The Pixel 8 Professional may even be capable of take individuals’s temperatures – an addition that might be a drawing card in a post-pandemic period as varied strains of COVID proceed to evolve. However Google continues to be attempting to get regulatory approval to allow that functionality within the U.S. A 2020 cellphone, the Honor Play 4 Professional made my Huawei, additionally was in a position to display screen for fevers, so Google isn’t breaking completely new floor.

Regardless of usually getting optimistic critiques, the Pixel telephones have barely made a dent in a market dominated by Samsung and Apple since Google started making the units seven years in the past. However they’ve been gaining barely extra traction lately, with Pixel’s share of the high-end smartphone market now hovering round 4% from lower than 1% three years in the past, in keeping with the analysis agency Worldwide Information Corp.

Google can afford to make a cellphone that doesn’t generate enormous gross sales as a result of it brings in additional than $200 billion yearly from a digital advert community that’s anchored by its dominant search engine. An enormous chunk of the advert income flows from the billions of {dollars} that Google pays yearly to lock in its search engine as the principle gateway to the web on the iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy lineup.

The agreements which have given Google’s search engine a profitable place on telephones and computer systems are the point of interest of an ongoing antitrust trial in Washington, the place the U.S. Justice Division is attempting to show its allegations that Google has been abusing its energy to stifle competitors and innovation.

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