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Google Home and eBay can tell you how much that's worth

The two companies demo eBay's new Shopbot, a digital "concierge" for shopping, at Google's cloud conference in San Francisco.

EBay and Google demoed a new "Shopbot" assistant for Google Home.
Google/Screenshot by Richard Nieva

Got something you want to sell? Google Home can help.

The smart home hub can help you appraise certain items, through a partnership with eBay. The two companies on Wednesday demoed a new eBay shopping assistant called Shopbot. They showed off the service during Google's Next Conference, which focuses on cloud computing, in San Francisco.

In the onstage demo, RJ Pittman, eBay's chief product officer, asked a Google Home if he could talk to eBay, and the device sprung to life.

"Hi, I'm eBay. I'm the world's price guide. You can ask me what something is worth," the eBay chatbot said from the device's speaker.

Pitman asked how much his camera was worth. The device then asked for more specifics, including brand, model and if the camera was new or used. The chatbot then told him the price value of the camera.

"In the spirit of going to where our customers are, we've taken it to Google Home because we want to get inside the home," Pittman said.

The Shopbot is supposed to be like a digital "concierge" for shopping, he said. The goal is for it to understand natural language and get to know your shopping habits.

Ebay also said Wednesday that it has brought some of its business operations to Google's cloud services.

Cloud computing has become a very important business for Google as it looks for ways to make money outside advertising for its iconic search engine. Google's cloud service competes against rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, which provide storage and networking services for other companies.

In November, the company formed the Cloud Machine Learning group, which focuses on bringing its AI technology to other businesses. The group is headed by Fei-Fei Li, an AI professor at Stanford, and Jia Li, former head of research at Snap, the parent company of Snapchat.

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