• Thursday, 24 January 2019

Google acquires start-up to boost Assistant's answering abilities

Google acquires start-up to boost Assistant's answering abilities


San Francisco, Jan 4 : Google has acquired a start-up named Superpod that built an app allowing users to post questions and receive answers from experts quickly -- a move that will help boost Google Assistant's ability to accurately answer users' questions.

According to a report in Axios late Thursday, Google paid nearly USD60 million to "acqui-hire" the founders and purchase some of Superpod's assets.

Google later confirmed the acquisition to Fortune but declined to disclose financial details.

Superpod shut down its Qiamp;A app in September last year.

"We can't share any details at this time, but we're trekking onwards toward the same north star and are very excited about the future," Superpod founders wrote in a message.

Google is constantly working on to improve its Assistant's capabilities to take on similar voice-based services like Amazon Alexa.

Despite Amazon Alexa being more popular globally, Google Assistant recently outperformed her -- and other voice assistants like Apple Siri -- in a test meant to understand the effectiveness of smart speakers.

In the 2018 edition of "Smart Speaker IQ Test" by research-driven venture capital firm Loup Ventures, Google Assistant (tested on Google Home smart speaker) managed to answer 87.9 per cent of the questions correctly -- up from 81.1 per cent in 2017, The Street.com reported last month.