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OK Google, bring me a Coca-Cola: Giant AI demos of soda fetching robots

OK Google, bring me a Coca-Cola: Giant AI demos of soda fetching robots

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, Aug. 16 (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google is combining the eyes and arms of physical bots and the knowledge and conversation skills of virtual chat bots to help its employees fetch soft drinks and chips from break rooms with ease.

Shown to reporters last week, the mechanical waiters embody a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that is paving the way for easy-to-control multi-purpose robots such as those that perform individual, organized tasks such as vacuuming or standing guard.

Google bots are not ready for sale. They perform a few dozen simple actions, and the company has yet to include them with the “OK, Google” calling feature familiar to consumers.

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While Google says it seeks to develop responsibly, adoption could eventually stop due to concerns such as bots turning into monitoring machines, or being equipped with chat technology that can give abusive responses, such as Meta Platforms Inc. (META.O) Others have suffered in recent years.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) They conduct comparable research on robotics.

“It will take some time before we can truly understand the direct commercial impact,” said Vincent Vanhoek, senior director of robotics research at Google.

When asked to help clean up the spill, the Google bot realizes that grabbing a sponge is an actionable response that makes more sense than an apology for making the mess.

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Robots interpret spoken commands naturally, weighing possible actions against their capabilities and planning smaller steps to fulfill the order.

The series is made possible by infusing the bots with language technology that ingests the world from Wikipedia, social media, and other web pages. Google said that similar artificial intelligence forms the basis of chatbots or virtual assistants, but that it has not been applied to bots to any degree before.

She revealed the effort in an April research paper. Incorporating more complex language into AI has since boosted the bots’ command success to 74% from 61%, according to the company’s blog on Tuesday.

Alphabet subsidiary Everyday Robots is designing the robots, which for now will remain confined to employee snacking.

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Parrish Dave reports. Editing by Kenneth Lee and Richard Chang

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.