A Hyper-Advanced 'Pixie' AI Assistant Is Reportedly Headed To Google's Pixel 9 Phone

Google Gemini hero
Google has invested heavily in artificial intelligence research over the past decade, and it paid off when researchers developed transformer algorithms in 2017—then it did nothing with it. Transformers are the underlying technology for all the fancy new generative AI applications. It was caught flatfooted when Microsoft integrated ChatGPT, but Google is getting back on track with the release of its Gemini AI. A new report claims Gemini is just the beginning. With the release of the Pixel 9, Google allegedly plans to deploy Pixie, a super-advanced AI assistant based on Gemini.

The Gemini AI comes in three different sizes, including a "nano" implementation for mobile devices. This model is already being used on the company's current Pixel phones for enhanced smart reply and summarizing in the Recorder app. Because the model was designed to run on low-power devices, you don't have to wait on a cloud server to generate text and send it to you over the internet. The new report suggests this is just the first step toward Pixie, which will be exclusive to Google's Pixel devices.

From what we can tell, the Pixie initiative is separate from what Google is doing with Assistant. The company says a new version of Assistant infused with its Bard AI model is on the way. Google demoed the new Assistant at its Made By Google event alongside the Pixel 8. However, this might end up being the basis for AI features on non-Google Android phones. Pixie would presumably be a better solution, and making it exclusive to Pixels could give Google's phones a much needed boost.

According to The Information, Pixie would be able to pull in data from mobile apps like Gmail and Maps, which will make it a more capable and personalized version of the Google Assistant. And because it runs on the device, it will be able to generate text and summaries even if you're not online.

Pixel Gemini summary
Pixel 8 using Gemini to create a summary in Recorder.

Google says Gemini is its most capable large language model ever, but it's not great at demos. Google's impressive conversational Gemini demo turns out to have been partially staged, hearkening back to Google's screwed up Bard demo in early 2023. Sketchy editing aside, the interaction between Gemini and its human masters was impressive even if it wasn't happening in real time. The algorithm shows much better situational awareness and flexibility than Bard or the traditional Google Assistant.

Look for more information on Pixie to surface in the coming months. An official reveal at Google I/O in mid-2024 wouldn't be unthinkable, but the Pixel 9 won't launch until fall.