This game-changing Pixel feature may get an AI boost — I already can't live without it

Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

One of the most life-changing Google Pixel features is one that may not sound that impressive at first: Automatic Call Screening. This is the Pixel exclusive that lets Google Assistant automatically take your calls for you to help you avoid the ever-increasing volume of spam calls.

Even in its current state, it was one of the big reasons our resident iPhone fan decided the Google Pixel 7 is better. However, Google isn't one to rest on its laurels, and according to a recent episode of the Made by Google Podcast the team behind the Phone by Google app has much more in store with an eye towards ensuring that you are never "annoyed at the thought of your phone ringing." That might be beyond their control, but the team believes that "multi-step, multi-turn conversational AI could open a lot of interesting doors in terms of creating this protective and helpful layer at the front of every incoming call." (via 9to5Google)

How is Google going to solve this problem?

If I hadn't already given it away in the headline I think I could have given you two guesses as to how Google would solve the dilemma of handling spam and you probably wouldn't have needed them. The answer is, of course, AI. Artificial Intelligence seems to be the answer to every problem in tech at the moment, and while we have some qualms with how Google Bard answered our iPhone vs. Android questions, it remains remarkable. 

I have little doubt that conversational AI has the potential even in the short term to help eliminate spam entirely from my life, again it's a rare thing for it to slip past the Phone app already. 

Jonathan Eccles, the group product manager for the Phone by Google app, sees much more for the app as well though. He believes that AI can make your calls more productive and effective in the future. Now how exactly it will achieve that appears to be where the magician refuses to reveal his secrets, but if we are going to get any more insight into what's next for Call Screen it will be at Google I/O 2023 starting on May 10. 

We'll bring you all of the latest from the event including hopefully the launch of the Pixel 7a in its cool new blue hue.

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Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.