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Day 1 at Next ’24 recap: AI agents for everyone

Hello from sunny Las Vegas, where we kicked off Google Cloud Next ’24 today! What happened in Vegas on the first day of Next? In a word, AI. Read on for highlights of the day.

We started things off with a reminder of how companies are using AI — not as a future thing, but a today thing.

New way, today

Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai then joined the Next keynote on screen, reminding us how far we’ve come with generative AI — and how fast. “Last summer, we were just beginning to imagine how this technology could transform businesses, and today, that transformation is well underway,” Sundar said.

On the keynote stage, Thomas Kurian and executives like Amin Vahdat, Aparna Pappu, and Brad Calder highlighted some of the biggest, most recognizable brands today: Goldman Sachs, Mercedes, Uber, Walmart, and Wayfair, to name a few.

And throughout, they announced some incredible new products, partners, and technologies. Here’s just a small taste of all the things that we announced today, across four key themes:

1. Use AI to do amazing things

To quote Sundar, we’re using AI to build products that are “radically more helpful.” Whether you’re a developer creating the next great app, an architect building and managing infrastructure, an end user collaborating on content with your colleagues, or a data scientist plumbing the depths of your business data, here are just a few of the new ways that Google AI can help you do your job better. 

What we announced:

Gemini for Google Cloud help users build AI agents to work and code more efficiently, manage their applications, gain deeper data insights, identify and resolve security threats — all deeply integrated in a range of Google Cloud offerings:

Gemini Code Assist, the evolution of the Duet AI for Developers, lets developers use natural language to add to, change, analyze, and streamline their code, across their private codebases and from their favorite integrated development environments (IDEs).

Gemini Cloud Assist helps cloud teams design, operate, and optimize their application lifecycle.

Gemini in Security, Gemini in Databases, Gemini in BigQuery, and Gemini in Looker help elevate teams’ skills and capabilities across these critical workloads.

Then there’s Google Workspace, which we built around core tenets of real-time creation and collaboration. Today, we took that up a level with:

Google Vids, your AI-powered video, writing, production, and editing assistant, all in one. Sitting alongside other productivity tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides, Vids can help anyone become a great storyteller at work.

A new AI Meetings and Messaging add-on includes features like Take notes for me (now in preview), Translate for me (coming in June), and automatic translation of messages and on-demand conversation summaries in Google Chat. This add-on is available for $10 per user, per month, and it can be added to most Workspace plans.

2. … built on the most advanced foundation models

All the above-mentioned capabilities are based on, you guessed it, Gemini, Google’s most powerful model. Today at Next 24, we announced ways to help developers bring the power of Gemini to their own applications through Vertex AI and other AI development platforms.

What we announced: 

Gemini 1.5 Pro is now available in public preview to Vertex AI customers. Now, developers can see for themselves what it means to build with a 1M context window.

Imagen, Google’s text-to-image mode, can now create live images from text, in preview. Just imagine generating animated images such as GIFs from a simple text prompt… Imagen also gets advanced photo editing features, including inpainting and outpainting, and a digital watermarking feature powered by Google DeepMind’s SynthID

Vertex AI has new MLOps capabilities: Vertex AI Prompt Management, and new Evaluation tools.

Vertex AI Agent Builder brings together the Vertex AI Search and Conversation products, along with a number of enhanced tools for developers to make it much easier to build and deploy enterprise-ready gen AI experiences.

3. … running on AI-optimized infrastructure

None of this would be possible if it weren’t for the investments in workload-optimized infrastructure that we make to power our own systems, as well as yours. 

What we announced:

Enhancements across our AI Hypercomputer architecture, including the general availability of Cloud TPU v5p, and A3 Mega VMs powered by NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs; storage portfolio optimizations including Hyperdisk ML; and open software advancements including JetStream and JAX and PyTorch/XLA releases.

Google Axion, our first custom Arm®-based CPU designed for the data center.

New compute and networking capabilities, including C4 and N4 general-purpose VMs powered by 5th Generation Intel Xeon processors; as well as enhancements across our Google Distributed Cloud.

4. … all grounded on trusted data

An AI model can only be as good as the data it’s trained on. And where better to get quality data than in your trusted enterprise databases and data warehouses? At Google Cloud, we think of this as “enterprise truth” and build capabilities across our Data Cloud to make sure your AI applications are based on trusted data.

What we announced:

Databases enhancements: Google Cloud databases are more AI-capable than ever. AlloyDB AI includes new vector capabilities, easier access to remote models, and flexible natural language support. Firestore, meanwhile, joins the long list of Google databases with strong vector search capabilities. 

Big news for BigQuery: We’re anchoring on BigQuery as our unified data analytics platform, including across clouds via BigQuery Omni. BigQuery also gets a new data canvas — a new natural language-based experience for data exploration, curation, wrangling, analysis, and visualization workflows.

Last but not least, you can now ground your models in not only in your enterprise data, but also in Google Search results, so they have access to the latest, high-quality information

And that was just during the morning keynote! From there, attendees went off to explore more than 300 Spotlights and breakout sessions, the Innovators Hive, and of course, the show floor, where partners this week are highlighting over 100 AI solutions built with Google Cloud technologies.   

We can’t wait to see you again tomorrow, when we’ll share even more news, go deep on today’s announcements, and host the perennial favorite — the Developer Keynote. Have fun in Vegas tonight. But don’t stay out too late, because there’s lots more ahead tomorrow!

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