Thursday, May 23, 2024

Google I/O 2024 Keynote: hope you like Gemini

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Well, Google’s main Keynote for I/O 2024 is in the books. And if you couldn’t tell by the title, it wasn’t just Gemini-heavy: it was all about Gemini. Gemini in Search, Gemini in Workspace, Gemini on Android, Gemini in the cloud…you get the gist. Google went all-in on their AI models and it was a full two hours of all the ways – big and small – that Gemini fits into Google’s plans for the future.

You can watch it all if you so choose, but I’d wait for someone to do a supercut of it. To be honest, it was a little boring. Coming off the heels of what I feel is some of the most interesting, terrifying, mind-blowing AI applications I’ve ever seen in ChatGPT-4o, Google’s long keynote felt flat.

I’m not saying there weren’t cool things discussed (the 1-2 minutes of Gemini and Project Astra using the camera to call out things in real time and the move to the unnamed AR glasses to do the same was pretty sweet) or helpful ways that AI will eventually weave into every facet of Google’s services. I was just bored.

And I know this is a developer conference after all, so the main keynote doesn’t necessarily need to cater to regular folks like myself: it just has done so in the past few years. Hell, last year they trotted out the Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet and Pixel 7a at this same event, and I’m sure more people than just me were hoping for at least a little bit of hardware.

But there was none to be found in between the buck-shot of Gemini in every facet of Google’s business model. And to be fair, in the end, Google owned it all. They even used Gemini to test the number of mentions of AI (120 or so) in the script for the entire keynote as a bit of comic relief to all those who had just sat through the entire thing.

This was the crowd about 90 minutes in

At the end of the day, I just hope Google finds ways to surface all of this AI to users on a simple, regular basis. It’s a bit all over the place at the moment, and standard users that aren’t going to sit through a 2-hour keynote won’t even know these handy tools are there if they aren’t explicitly told about them. I think Google’s AI products have the chance to be incredibly helpful once we can all make sense of where and what they all are. For the moment, I’m just a little Gemini fatigued.

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