Google's new messaging app now has a feature that can tell what you're texting about and automatically suggest helpful information — but Google says it's not reading your texts to do it
- On Monday, Google announced that "over the coming months," Google Assistant integration is coming to the company's newest text-messaging app, Android Messages.
- When users are texting about restaurants, movies, or weather on Android Messages, Assistant will offer links to more information - which it calls "suggestion chips".
- Google uses "on-device AI" to offer up the suggestion chips and told Business Insider in a statement that the entire content of text conversations is never sent to Assistant.
- The announcement signals Google's increasing investment in Messages as it plans to shut down its smart-messaging app, Allo, in March.
Google will soon start offering up movie reviews and showtimes in your text-message threads, but it said it's not reading your entire conversations to do so.
When users on Messages are texting about restaurants, movies, or weather, Assistant will offer links to more information - which it calls "suggestion chips." These links can help add to the conversation. For instance, a link to a restaurant review may be offered when you're deciding on dinner plans.
The feature will be available for users around the world but offered only in English to start.
Google said in its blog post that it uses "on-device" artificial intelligence to offer up the suggestion chips and told Business Insider in a statement that the entire content of text conversations is never sent to Assistant. Google said only the information on the suggestion chips is sent to Assistant once a user clicks on the chip.
The company said its "on-device AI" is similar technology to what it uses for "Smart Reply" on Messages - the feature that's also available on Gmail and offers suggestions for finishing sentences and sending quick messages.
The announcement signals Google's increasing investment in Messages as it plans to shut down its smart messaging app, Allo, in March.
Messages is Google's latest attempt at building a text-messaging app that users love. So far, it has been unsuccessful in building a breakaway hit, despite several attempts: Google Buzz, Google Wave, "Gchat" - technically called Google Talk - and soon, Allo. All four apps are now in the chat-app graveyard.
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