Some of Google’s biggest efforts in computing are developing better artificial intelligence and voice control. In fact, the company is implementing those efforts into every product it can, from search to YouTube.
The biggest example of this is Google Assistant, the new digital helper that lives inside the Google Home speaker and newer Android phones like the Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy S8.
But if we start living in a world where we do more and more of our computing through voice, how can Google make money if there aren’t any eyeballs on screens to look at the ads it serves?
This has been a budding theme at Google, and one an analyst asked about again during the company’s earnings call on Thursday. In short, Google CEO Sundar Pichai doesn’t have a clear answer yet. Instead, he’s focused on perfecting voice control and the Google Assistant before figuring out a good way to monetize those products.
“We are very focused on the consumer experience now …I think if you go and create these experiences that work at scale for users, the monetization will follow,” Pichai said on the earnings call.
He also brought up successful products from Google’s history, saying that at first the company didn’t have the answers to monetization for products like YouTube and search.
We did get one hint at how Google may monetize voice though. In March, some Google Home users heard a promotion for the new “Beauty and the Beast” movie when they asked the speaker for an update. Google later removed the ad after the internet lit up with complaints, and later claimed it wasn’t even a real ad in the first place.
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