Google is combining its Android and hardware teams – and it’s all about “AI”

AI is taking over at Google, and the company is changing in big ways to try to make it happen even faster. Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced substantial internal reorganizations on Thursday, including the creation of a new team called “Platforms and Devices” that will oversee all of Google’s Pixel products, all of Android, Chrome, ChromeOS, Photos, and more. The team will be run by Rick Osterloh, who was previously the SVP of devices and services, overseeing all of Google’s hardware efforts. Hiroshi Lockheimer, the longtime head of Android, Chrome, and ChromeOS, will be taking on other projects inside of Google and Alphabet.

↫ David Pierce at The Verge

I don’t know what to make of this. More often than not, these kinds of reorganisations have little impact on us as mere users, but at the same time, the hype around “AI” has grown to such batshit insane proportions that this reorganisation will only lead to even more “AI” nonsense being crammed into every single Google product, whether they benefit from it or not. My nightmare scenario is Android becoming so infested with this stuff that the operating system is going to grow into Clippy in my pocket, suggesting and doing things I have zero interest in, taking control away from me as a user and handing it over to some nebulous set of algorithms optimised for some mythical smartphone user I don’t look like at all.

Using technologies currently labelled as “AI” to make translations better, improve accessibility features, stabilise video recording, that sort of stuff – totally fine, and I’m pretty sure most of us have been using “AI” in that form for many, many years now. What these companies are trying to do now, though, is turn “AI” from a technology into a feature, and I’m just not interested in any of that. It’s just not trustworthy, reliable, or usable enough, and I have my doubts it’ll ever get there with the current technological threads we’re unraveling.

I wish we had a third player in the smartphone market.


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