Google’s upcoming Pixie AI: a Pixel device exclusive delight.

Google’s interior development team is speculated to be working on a new artificial intelligence (AI) assistant named “Pixie” in response to the rising costs of their current AI assistant, Google Assistant. This information was recently reported by The Information, speculating that the new assistant will be available exclusively on Pixel devices and is powered by Google’s new “Gemini” AI model.

  • The Pixel 9 device is reported to be the first to feature the Pixie AI assistant. Google plans to expand this feature to its lower-end phones and other devices like smartwatches in the future.
  • Both Google and Amazon are rumoured to be rebooting their voice assistants using a new wave of large language models. These upgrades are hoped to provide longer, more in-depth responses to user queries.
  • Google Assistant has been a free service, monetarily supported through the sale of related hardware, and has incurred increasing costs due to the processing involved. No voice assistant platform has yet found a way to become profitable, leading to speculation that Pixie may be a cost-cutting measure.
  • The current plan, according to The Information, is to limit development of Google Assistant for non-Google devices and focus on in-house hardware. This shift in strategy is believed to protect Google’s search deals on third-party devices from regulatory threats.

The fate of Google Assistant, once the new AI assistant is launched, is still uncertain. However, it is speculated that shutting it down might be one way Google could curtail further losses.

While the strategy to focus on Google-owned hardware could potentially solve the profitability issue, it introduces new challenges. Google’s Hardware division is comparatively small and has a track record of being unable to support ambitious projects. Some of their hardware releases have been critiqued for their quality, and the availability of these products is limited to approximately 13 countries. By focusing on exclusive hardware, Google also risks losing accessibility, which has previously been a strength of its ecosystem. The tech giant is yet to confirm these reports.