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With the advancement of modern technology, the concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has become a hot topic and an essential part of plans for the future. The head of Google DeepMind, Demis Hassabis, has been laboring over a concept that will solidify AI's role in everyday life - the universal AI assistant. By unveiling an early version of this assistant, code-named Project Astra, Hassabis charted a clear vision for AI's role in shaping future society during the Google I/O conference.

In its infant stages, Project Astra boasts the impressive ability to identify objects and answer questions in real-time, bringing the concept of an omnipresent helpful hands technology, or AI in ubiquitous computing, a step closer to reality. This new technology weaves together reality and AI with seamless integration, promising to elevate our day-to-day living experience.

Alongside Project Astra were various updates to Gemini models, including Gemini 1.5 Flash, Veo, and Gemini Nano. The primary aim of these updates is to create agents focused on what AI can do for individuals, effectively streamline our tasks and help us use time more effectively.

A lot of anticipation surrounds Astra, seeing it as a significant step towards achieving an ideal real-time AI assistant. Significant upgrades on speed and latency have been made over the past six months demonstrating Google's inexhaustible efforts to propel AI technology into the future.

In addition to this, other Google AI projects highlighted at the conference were Gemini Live, a voice-only assistant designed for conversational interaction, and a new tool in Google Lens for video-based web searches. These innovations speak to an overarching idea of integrating AI into all facets of our digital lives.

Google's primary competitors in this field, including OpenAI, are working towards similar visions for how AI can impact our daily lives. The race for technological advancement is no longer a solitary sprint; it's a relay, with participants pushing boundaries of innovation.

Amongst these advancements, a new itinerary-building tool was introduced to assist with tasks such as trip planning, underscoring Google's focus on providing assistive tools that enhance convenience in our lives. This combination of AI with elements of daily tasks could be the key to unlocking greater productivity and efficiency in our lives.

However, the reach of AI integration doesn't stop with our current devices. Hassabis imagines future interactions with AI to involve a wide range of devices beyond smartphones and glasses. In his vision, AI is not confined by tangible interfaces but is an entity we will continually evolve with.

The future of AI, as sketched by Hassabis, centers around proactive service catering to individual needs. As people start asking more about what AI can do, the advent of practical, ubiquitous AI is a prospect as close as the horizon. It is not merely an auxiliary tool, rather an all-encompassing entity ready to improve our lives and shape the future landscape of society.