Forget personal computer doldrums and waning smartphone demand. Google thinks computers will one day cease being physical devices.
“Looking to the future, the next big step will be for the very concept of the ‘device’ to fade away,” Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai wrote Thursday in a letter to shareholders of parent Alphabet Inc. “Over time, the computer itself — whatever its form factor — will be an intelligent assistant helping you through your day.”
Instead of online information and activity happening mostly on the rectangular touch screens of smartphones, Pichai sees artificial intelligence powering increasingly formless computers. “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world,” he said.
Pichai was, in part, talking his own playbook because Google has been working on AI and related technology such as machine learning for years and this advanced software already powers web services and apps such as Google Photos and Google Translate.