Google I/O kicks off next Tuesday, with the keynote starting at 10AM PT on Tuesday. As expected, Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai will be hosting the keynote and the company is going to have a ton of announcements at the developer conference next week. And as expected, Google Assistant is going to be a big part of Google I/O next week. Currently, the Google I/O schedule has over 24 sessions for Google Assistant. That number will likely increase after the Keynote is finished, as the schedule does get fully populated once the keynote is done – as there are things announced in the keynote that Google doesn't want to be out in the public before the event.
Google Assistant has had a pretty big year already, starting at CES where it was pretty much everywhere. We also saw new form factors for Google Assistant, like the Smart Displays by Lenovo and JBL. Now while those likely won't get availability announced at Google I/O this year – as it is less of a hardware event, and more of a software event – it is possible that we hear more about smart displays for Google Assistant. And if that is the case, developers may be going home with either Lenovo or JBL's smart display, to get started on making apps for the new form factor.
Smart Displays will likely be a big focus at Google I/O, but more on the software side. Google will likely talk about the changes it has made to the Assistant for displays. So look forward to that. But that won't be all the changes that Google announces for Assistant. There will likely also be plenty of other changes, both small and large. Earlier this week, Google announced that Assistant now supports over 5,000 smart home products, so it is possible that we see better integration with these products, and even an easier way for manufacturers to add Google Assistant support. As that would be a great way for Google to go ahead and get even more support.
It's unlikely that Google will announce new partnerships with smart home product manufacturers at Google I/O, but the company will be holding sessions for Assistant on other platforms – including Android Auto. It brought Google Assistant to Android Auto earlier this year, allowing you to simply say "Ok Google, play Finesse" and it'll start playing Finesse by Cardi B and Bruno Mars on your preferred music service, among other things. The session does not yet have any specifics on what Google will be talking about here, other than how Assistant will work in the car.
In the past couple of years, artificial intelligence and machine learning have been big focuses for Google at its developer conference, so expect this year to be no different. The Google Assistant uses both artificial intelligence and machine learning, which is how it is able to continue improving without Google pushing out new updates to it. So Assistant will likely be a big focus, especially as Google has been putting all of its focus on the Assistant in the past year and a half (since launch) anyways. Google I/O should be a pretty big event, but don't expect any of the announcements to be available immediately. Usually Google I/O is full of alpha and beta changes that won't actually be available to users until later in the year.