CES 2018: The year the AI wars were fought


Though discounted prices would have helped both companies to give customers a taste of their digital assistants and make a dent in the smart speaker market; the more pressing question in the months to come will be if selling speakers at impulse-buy prices would have brought in new customers. Now that things have been upgraded to the full Google Assistant experience, you'll have a wider range of functions and tools available behind the wheel.

Google has plastered digital billboards and the Las Vegas Monorail with the "Hey Google" wake-up command. Apple's Siri-powered HomePod smart speaker was also supposed to be released during this period but the company delayed the release to 2018.

Asus is adding Alexa to its laptops, providing more competition for Cortana. You can also use the device to check for recipes and also make video calls with its inbuilt front camera.

Lenovo, LG, Sony and JBL are making Smart Displays. The latest device to feature Google Assistant is the smart multicooker GKM9000 that features its own 7-inch LCD touchscreen. Namely, this piece of software allows you to integrate Alexa into your wireless headphones and smartwatches so you can use it wherever you want. While those consumer electronics categories are still well represented at the annual technology convention in Las Vegas, they are overshadowed by autonomous auto, artificial intelligence, computers, apps, AR, VR, health trackers, drones, and more, to name just a tiny few categories.

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When Lenovo Group Ltd made a decision to create an assistant-enabled screen last summer that would sit on a kitchen counter like a mini-TV, it turned to Google. Google doesn't appear rattled and the company is looking at its assistant's use over time. By taking a more aggressive step forward with its own hardware, it signaled to other companies that it was safe for them to continue to invest resources of their own.

At CES 2018 a variety of products that feature Google Assistant integration have been shown off, but Amazon and Alexa are still a threat significant threat to the Mountain View, California-based tech giant's plans to expand into the voice-activated assistant space.

LG Electronics Inc chose Google for televisions it unveiled this week, but opted for Alexa in refrigerators because of its online shopping functionality. "What we're seeing is heavy competition between all the personal assistants", says Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

Amazon's Alexa virtually dominates the voice-based AI space with a 82% market share with Google Home way behind at 18%.