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Google Turns Smarter with AI-Based Digital Assistant Allo

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Alphabet Inc.’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google launched a “smart” messaging app Allo on Tuesday that is pitted against Facebook’s WhatsApp and Apple Inc.’s iMessage.

This artificial intelligence (AI) powered app uses voice recognition and language processing tools to enhance the chat experience. The app will soon be available globally through Google Play and the Apple App Store.

How Does it Work?

Users can start a conversation directly with the Google Assistant or can call it upon in a group using voice messages or typing @google before a message. It enables users to ask voice-activated questions in between messages.

Its search functionality pulls relevant information based on requests and also offers some keywords to help users refine their search.  

However, since the assistant is still at a primary stage, it may not offer the best answer or recommendation to a query. Users can help it improve over time by giving an answer a thumbs-down and explain why it was wrong.

The smart reply feature keeps a track of the words or phrases users prefer and changes its own responses accordingly. The feature will get smarter once it learns more of a user’s conversing habit over time.

The app comes with preloaded sticker packs, more of which can be downloaded in the Sticker Marketplace for free. Users can also change text size by dragging the send button up or down.  Android users can even draw on photos.

And finally there is an end-to-end encrypted Incognito mode that is optional. Messages in this mode do not have a preview on the lock screen. Users can set a time after which the messages will no longer exist.


Advantage Google

Google’s greatest advantage over other messaging apps is its search capacity that is also embedded in this AI-based Google Assistant. The late launch is possibly an indication of all the years that have supposedly gone into deep learning and extensive research.

This is evident from the fact that its closest peers such as Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) Siri,, Inc.’s (AMZN - Free Report) Alexa and Facebook, Inc.’s (FB - Free Report) WhatsApp cannot offer the features that Allo offers right from its launch.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Currently, Alphabet is a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock. Better-ranked stocks in the in the broader technology sector include Facebook, Inc. (FB - Free Report) and  LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD), each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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