May 8, 2018 / 6:03 PM / a year ago

Google's updated virtual assistant makes complex calls for users

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 8(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday showed off an updated virtual assistant that can make calls to restaurants, hair salons and other businesses to check hours and make reservations, holding conversations on a user’s behalf.

The announcement was made at Google I/O, an annual event held since 2008 to share new tools and strategies with creators of products that work with Google software and hardware. It shows how Google is responding to rising competition from big tech companies over virtual assistants, shopping and devices.

Google also said it was expanding the ability of the assistant to order food from restaurants including Starbucks Corp and Domino’s Pizza Inc. (Editing by Peter Henderson and Richard Chang)

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