Google, A.I. and the rise of the super-sensor

Google dazzled developers this week with a new feature called Google Lens.

Appearing first in Google Assistant and Google Photos, Google Lens uses artificial intelligence (A.I.) to specifically identify things in the frame of a smartphone camera.

In Google's demo, not only did Google Lens identify a flower, but the species of flower. The demo also showed the automatic login to a wireless router when Google Lens was pointed at the router barcodes. And finally, Google Lens was shown identifying businesses by sight, popping up Google Maps cards for each establishment.

Google Lens is shiny and fun. But from the resulting media commentary, it was clear that the real implications were generally lost.

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