Google Cloud Next '24: A Closer Look

Last week, the Google Cloud Next ‘24 event in Las Vegas revealed new AI enhancements and future developments supported by recent large project implementations. In less than a month, Google has another major event, Google I/O, and even if it is a more mobile-focused event, it is expected to showcase other product improvements.

With all the exciting new developments in Generative AI happening so fast, it is crucial for big tech players like Google to have clear and effective communication to make sure these novelties are understood and, most importantly, trusted. AI developments are evolving at breakneck speed, so the entire ecosystem (like partners, developers, start-ups, or customers) needs to be on the same page with these upgrades. Not least, with the competitive landscape intensifying, continuous innovation is paramount and no big player can afford to have latency in updating its portfolio. Is this rush can have downsides? Only time can tell.

In a nutshell, the key areas of focus were the following:

  • At Google Next 24, Google Cloud announced breakthroughs in AI infrastructure for both cloud and on-premise use. The focus was on increased processing power, with Google making its most powerful TPU (Tensor Processing Unit), the v5p, generally available. Also, the company announced Google Axion, Google’s custom Arm-based processor, underlining its strategy in developing proprietary hardware for future AI advancements. Another important point is that Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) with support for NVIDIA GPUs (graphics processing units) and pre-validated open AI models, simplifies running AI models at the edge.
  • Vertex: One of the headlines in this section is related to Gemini 1.5 Pro, which became available in a public preview in Vertex AI. Also, Imagen 2.0, the text-to-image model, is available in Vertex AI. Introducing “agents” - intelligent entities that can connect with a human user or other agents. Here, Vertex Agent Builder should be mentioned, which empowers users to build these types of agents smoothly.
  • The AI-enhanced Workspace is the productivity suite of tools from Google. Interesting news here is the mitigation of communication silos - the messaging interoperability for Slack and Microsoft Teams becoming available within one of Google’s partners, Mio. Google Workspace is adding a new AI video creation tool called Vids to its suite alongside Docs, Sheets, and Slides (most probably, it will be launched in Workspace Labs in June 2024).
  • The announcements also strongly focused on cloud migration solutions alongside strategic partnership extensions and new cutting-edge security protocols.
  • Chrome Enterprise Premium was announced as officially available, adding advanced security features like data protection and Zero Trust access to the familiar Chrome browser.

Even if not all these releases are immediately available, it is easy to understand why the company opted for this strategy - the new technology needs time to be digested by the potential customers. The company needs to keep up with the other market stakeholders and Google made a bold move with this event, accentuating its position as a strong player in the golden age of AI.

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