Reflecting on the Google I/O 2023 Keynote.

It has been a busy week over at Google I/O with the big focus being on AI or more specifically pushing beyond the novelty factor of “suggest a cake recipe” in favour of focusing on where Google are going to use AI to have a material benefit to end users. Below is the video of the keynote:

One thing to keep in mind is the fact that Google have been using AI for many years before Chat GPT became the darling of the informational technology press. If you’d like the TL;DR version then it goes like this – Google is leveraging their own LLM in the form of PaLM 2 to improve existing functionality (grammar, spelling etc) as well as new functionality such as generating letters etc. I think the interesting part was how they’re able to scale down their LLM so that it is small enough to operate on a mobile phone which will enable more operations to be carried out on the phone. I could imagine future Pixel phones the focus will be around making use of future Google Tensor chips. I also wonder to what extent Google is offloading the work from their data centres to the clients device will reduce the load being put on their servers which will benefit their bottom line – a better user experience and saves a few dollars along the way is something I don’t see Google turning down.

The above video has more of a high level over view of Android (the individual session videos is the place where the subject matter is given a deeper level of explanation). We’ve reached the stage where the platform has matured just as in the case of iOS, the days of massive hyped up features that would grab end users attention is long gone and I for one am happy that the focus is around ‘fit and finish’ rather than features. I’ve had a look at the videos regarding the Android 14 beta that is available on the Nothing Phone 1 and so far it appears that the kernel remain the same (5.4.210) but I could imagine that when the Nothing Phone 2 is released towards the end of this year they’ll probably default to 5.15 or maybe 6.1.28 since both of those are the long term stable branch of the Linux kernel.

Will I upgrade to it? depends on what Google has done with the Pixel but based on Geekzone posts that I’ve been following it appears that Google is adding 5G support along with VoLTE so then at the very least if I can’t buy one in New Zealand then at the very least I’ll be able to buy one from Australia then get my brother to ship it to me or buy it from the United States then get YouShop to send it too me. I’m also looking at replacing the security camera around my place with ones from Google due the ability to attach them up to the power directly rather than recharging them which means for a few hours I don’t have any security cameras going. It’ll also be interesting to see where the next major update for Android TV will be made available for Chromecast with Google TV given that Google and other streaming services are pushing AV1 out due to it being royalty free.

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