Google is betting heavily on its new, evolving Google Assistant, with the technology giant's product being very publicly compared to Star Trek's talking computer. Google Assistant, according to a recent article by Farhad Manjoo in the New York Times, brings together, into one unit, "data mining and artificial intelligence systems, from speech recognition to machine translation to computer vision." And while, at the moment, Google Assistant feels in step with Cortana, Siri and Alexa -- as it lives in Allo, the Google messaging app -- bigger things are on the way. It will, the Times article noted, "be included in a new smartphone and an Amazon Echo-like talking computer called Google Home."

Manjoo noted in his piece that no less than "Google’s status as the chief navigator of our digital lives" is at stake with Google Assistant. He futher pointed that when it comes to the product, "The Star Trek computer is no metaphor. The company believes that machine learning has advanced to the point that it is now possible to build a predictive, all-knowing, superhelpful and conversational assistant of the sort that Captain Kirk relied on to navigate the stars. The Assistant, in Google’s most far-out vision, would always be around, wherever you are, on whatever device you use, to handle just about any informational task."

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