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3 Most Memorable Moments From Google I/O 2024

See inside Google’s 2024 I/O developer conference, which was packed with announcements and artificial intelligence demos—plus experiential moments sprinkled throughout.

'AI' was mentioned more than 100 times throughout the two-day developer conference, according to U.K.-based internet expert DigiAlps.
"AI" was mentioned more than 100 times throughout the two-day developer conference, according to U.K.-based internet expert DigiAlps.
Photo: Courtesy of Google

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.—Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O (or just I/O), took place for two days beginning on May 14. The first day, its long-awaited, buzzed-about “keynote day,” is touted as being one of the tech industry’s biggest events of the year. It’s when Google unveils what it’s working on, plus new products and features as well as what it’s focusing on in the future. Similar to years past, I/O 2024 took place in front of a small live audience from the Shoreline Amphitheatre just down the road from its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters, with the lion’s share of attendees tuning in via livestream.

Though technically designed to appeal to developers, I/O has also become about enticing Google’s more than 1 billion active users. Take it from CEO Sundar Pichai, who introduced “Ask Photos” at last month’s event, telling viewers about the experimental feature that allows users to tap artificial intelligence to search through their photo and video library using natural language.Google CEO Sundar Pichai pictured at Google I/O 2024, which took place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre just down the road from the tech giant's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.Google CEO Sundar Pichai pictured at Google I/O 2024, which took place at the Shoreline Amphitheatre just down the road from the tech giant's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.Photo: Courtesy of Google

Here are three other notable moments from Google’s flagship event…

1. Exciting on-site experiences

Improv musician and viral beat-maker Marc "Loop Daddy" Rebillet kicked off I/O by popping out of a giant coffee mug wearing a rainbow bathrobe—a nod to many of his songs, which tell listeners to get out of bed in the morning. He went on to perform a musical set that infused a demo of Google’s DJ mode, which includes text-to-music features. The kickoff was untraditional for a tech conference, to say the least.More than 4,000 developers, members of the media, and Google staffers attended I/O in person to experience a music-driven kickoff featuring Marc 'Loop Daddy' Rebillet, plus a Developer Block Party and other experiences across the Shoreline Amphitheatre's 10.5-acre property.More than 4,000 developers, members of the media, and Google staffers attended I/O in person to experience a music-driven kickoff featuring Marc "Loop Daddy" Rebillet, plus a Developer Block Party and other experiences across the Shoreline Amphitheatre's 10.5-acre property.Photo: Courtesy of Google

Throughout the rest of the event, the more than 4,000 developers, members of the media, and Google staffers who attended I/O IRL were encouraged to attend an immersive event produced by Sparks, a Philadelphia-based brand experience agency recently acquired by Freeman.

The to-do consisted of informational breakout sessions, interactive product demos, and workshops, as well as the Developer Block Party, which took over more than 10.5 acres within the Shoreline Amphitheatre property.

Although tech is typically the primary focus of I/O, experiential moments have abounded over the years, including in 2019, when the conference hosted festival-style evening events where Wayne Coyne from the Flaming Lips performed a song accompanied by AI-enabled inflatable fruit. (See more here.)Google I/O has repeatedly infused festival-like elements throughout its keynote sessions, breakouts, and panels.Google I/O has repeatedly infused festival-like elements throughout its keynote sessions, breakouts, and panels.Photo: Courtesy of Google

2. An Abundance of AI

Google made more than 100 announcements during I/O—most of which had to do with the latest updates to its AI tool, the Gemini app. For reference, there were also more than 100 mentions of the word “AI” throughout the two-hour keynote at I/O, according to U.K.-based internet expert DigiAlps.

Google said it worked its Gemini tech into its Google TV operating system to create more personalized descriptions for movies and television shows that cater to viewers’ genre, actor, and even language preferences. Google's AI tech, Gemini, will be incorporated into a slew of new tools, the company shared during I/O. For example, Google Search will now incorporate more of Gemini’s tech with the company’s new “Grounding” feature, which links the generative AI to the internet for more factual responses.Google's AI tech, Gemini, will be incorporated into a slew of new tools, the company shared during I/O. For example, Google Search will now incorporate more of Gemini’s tech with the company’s new “Grounding” feature, which links the generative AI to the internet for more factual responses.Photo: Courtesy of Google

Also new, Google Search will now incorporate more of Gemini’s tech with the company’s new “Grounding” feature, which links the generative AI to the internet for more factual responses. For reference, without this feature, AI models spit out responses based on learned patterns from a data set gathered over a specific period of time, meaning it can’t tell you what the weather forecast is for today. “Grounding” changes that.

In addition, new to Google-owned YouTube are AI-generated quizzes, allowing users watching educational videos to “raise their hand” and ask questions about the video they’re viewing. Check out this Google blog post for more information about the 100-plus announcements it made at its I/O.

3. A focus on digital storytelling

Content marketers, rejoice: Google made some announcements just for you that showcase its big bet on digital storytelling, including Veo, which Google calls its “most capable video generation model yet.” Veo has the ability to generate videos with 1080p resolution that are more than one minute long, including with its next-gen text-to-video AI tech.Among the new tools showcasing Google's investment in digital storytelling is Veo, which Google calls its “most capable video generation model yet.”Among the new tools showcasing Google's investment in digital storytelling is Veo, which Google calls its “most capable video generation model yet.”Photo: Courtesy of Google

At I/O, developers were shown a case study of Veo courtesy of filmmaker and actor Donald Glover—best known under his stage name, Childish Gambino—where he said that the tech allows everybody to become a director. “At the heart of this is just storytelling,” Glover said, adding: “That’s what’s cool about it [Veo], is you can make a mistake faster. That’s all you really want at the end of the day, at least in art.” 


Google also debuted high-quality image generator Imagen 3—and boasted about its capabilities at I/O with Infinite Wonderland, an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland-inspired digital art experience curated by four artists. 

“Without that human touch, I wouldn’t have been able to create this fantastical world. The role artists play in crafting these AI models is vital and impacts the whole creative process,” one of the artists, Haruko Hayakawa, told Google, according to the company’s blog post on Infinite Wonderland.

Alongside Hayakawa, Eric Hu, Shawna X, and Erik Carter also created their respective artworks using Imagen 3 for the first-of-its-kind exhibit. And as they went down the rabbit hole of creativity, the artists also provided feedback to Google about the tech to help fine-tune the model.

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