- Google announced that the company would invest in early-stage startups that use AI as a part of their platforms.
- In addition to funding, qualified applicants will receive advice, access to Google Cloud Platform, promotion, and more.
- The program is a way for Google to push the integration of Google Assistant over rivals Alexa and Siri.
According to Google’s blog post on the matter, Google will offer advice, early access features, access to Google Cloud Platform, promotional support, and cold hard cash to startups that seek to “push new ideas forward and advance the possibilities of what digital assistants can do.”
Google is pushing hard for artificial intelligence programs to become the must-have feature of any new technology, and Google Assistant is obviously the program it wants to power those technologies. By offering early-stage companies access to funding and support, it could mean the difference between a new product running on Google Assistant or running on Amazon’s Alexa.
As part of the announcement, Google shared the first four companies to enter the new funding program:
- GoMoment: A hospitality-focused startup that looks to use AI to answer questions and perform basic tasks for guests in hotel rooms. For example, a guest could ask, “Is there a happy hour at the bar tonight?” and get an answer without having to talk to the front desk staff.
- Edwin: Prepares students looking to take English as a foreign language tests.
- BotSociety: A tool that allows developers to design, prototype, and user-test voice interfaces.
- Pulse Labs: Helps voice application designers test their applications with real people and use their feedback to refine the experience.
Google doesn’t say how much funding these companies received, nor does it say how long the company will support these startups. However, if you have a startup that will utilize AI, Google encourages you to apply for funding by filling out this form. The company says it is looking for startups that “broaden the Assistant’s set of features; are building new hardware devices for digital assistants; or that focus on a particular industry such as travel, games, or hospitality.”
For our breakdown of what kinds of things you can do with Google Assistant, check out our guide.