Google Goes All In on AI

The company has every possible advantage, but can they use it?

DALL-E/Every illustration.

By my count, Google launched 23 products at yesterday’s developer conference. 

Well, launched isn’t the right word. It was more akin to when your cousin starts posting the back of some dude’s head in her Instagram Stories and you realize she has a boyfriend. In that spirit, let’s say Google soft-launched 23 products, even though it only actually released two. One was an open-source large language model, and the other was the integration of its Gemini 1.5 Pro model into its chatbot mobile app. Everything was about artificial intelligence: Executives said “AI” 120 times in the space of two hours. If AI was the most common term, I would venture to guess that the second most common was “coming soon.”

What yesterday’s presentation did demonstrate was power. Google’s search engine, which is arguably the best business model ever invented, throws off an incredible amount of excess capital. That cash cannon is now firmly pointed at AI. The company previewed new hardware, new AI integrations into consumer products, new chips, and new models.

When a technology paradigm shift is underway, it is not yet clear what will work and where the profit will pool. Startups have to pick their bets, while big companies have the benefit of being able to bet on everything at once. Google is in this happy latter position. CEO Sundar Pichai will invest in as much as he can and hope that it doesn’t disrupt the search engine cash cow too much.

The company is throwing a bunch of stuff at the wall, but these are the things I think will matter the most:

  1. Agentic search: Google is aiming to go from normal search to where “Google does the googling for you.” 
  2. Google in Android: Google is creating a virtual assistant that will come bundled at the operating system level.
  3. Gemini 1.5 everywhere: From its Google Sheets to Google Photos to Gmail products, Google is integrating the ability to query, search, and summarize your data. 

Let’s go through each of these in more depth, talk about where power will accumulate, and look at what this all means for Google’s competition...

Become a paid subscriber to Every to learn about:

  • Google’s transformation into an answer-and-action engine
  • The competitive advantage Google gains from layering Gemini atop its Android operating system
  • How Google will integrate Gemini into its full suite of products
  • The strategic implications for Big Tech and OpenAI

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