Users of Google’s Gboard mobile keyboard may soon find it a whole lot easier to find GIFs and stickers related to their conversations. Google is pushing an update to Gboard that will include a feature that contextually suggests GIFs And stickers that it thinks may relate to the conversation at hand.
According to Google, the new feature should make it easier for users to express themselves, but it also understands the privacy implications, too — considering the fact that it means that the keyboard has to have access to the conversation in the first place to recommend related GIFs and stickers. To that end, Google says that everything is processed on-device, helping ensure that it’s private and fast.
There are plenty of advantages to on-device artificial intelligence, as Google highlights. Perhaps the most obvious is that it’s much more secure than cloud-based artificial intelligence. On top of that, it works when you don’t have a cellular connection — so even when you’re on a hike in the middle of nowhere, you should still get access to some of the artificially intelligent features on your phone. In particular, Google has been pushing artificial intelligence on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and that is likely to continue in future versions of the Pixel.
To access the Gboard-recommended GIFs, simply tap the GIF icon when it appears in the top left-hand corner of the Gboard. Tap it, and you will see a range of GIFs, stickers, and emojis that Gboard things you might want to use.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Google has inserted artificial intelligence into Gboard in an attempt to make it a smoother experience for users. Recently, Google launched a feature to Gboard that allows users to create small emoji stickers of themselves using by taking a photo and then tweaking your facial features — similar to how you would on a Nintendo Wii when creating a Mii.
Gboard has long been hailed as one of the best software keyboards for Android and iOS, and features like this are why. We’ll likely see more artificial intelligence-based features in Gboard as time goes on.
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