Pixel users hoping to use generative AI features in a more private manner are in for a disappointment, with the Pixel 8 offloading processing to the cloud.
Google has touted the benefits of its latest Tensor G3 chip, especially in the realm of generative AI. For example, in a blog post announcing the new chip, Google said the following:
Our work with Tensor has never been about speeds and feeds, or traditional performance metrics. It’s about pushing the mobile computing experience forward. And in our new Tensor G3 chip, every major subsystem has been upgraded, paving the way for on-device generative AI.
Given that wording, a customer could be forgiven for believing that generative AI processing in the Tensor G3-driven Pixel 8 would be handled on-device. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
As spotted by DroidLife, it appears the reality if far less grand than Google makes it sound, with the Pixel 8 requiring an internet connection to offload generative AI processing to the cloud:
As we’re finding out, essentially all of the Pixel 8 lineup’s generative AI features require a data connection. The presumption is that the devices capture the necessary data, send it to Google’s data centers, and then ship it back to your phone in mere seconds. When attempting to use any of the features without a data connection, like AI Wallpapers or Google Photos’ Magic Editor, you get met with an error message stating you need to check your internet connection.
The revelation is a disappointing one, especially for those who would like to try generative AI features without their data being transmitted to remote servers.
Even more disappointing is Google’s double-speak that seems aimed at making the Tensor G3 seem far more powerful and capable than it really is.