Google introduced a new Android update, new voices for Google Assistant including that of John Legend and Gmail starting to write emails all by itself.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the tech-giant has been working on making its AI voices sound less robotic and more human, including adding new features to make the Google Assistant easy-to-use. Among some of the additional features, users can now bid adieu to the robotic voice and say hello to six new voices—all to be rolled out later this year—including American singer-actor-songwriter John Legend’s voice.
Deepmind, a subsidiary of Google UK created an AI-based voice synthesizer called WaveNet that created the new voices for Google Assistant. Through WaveNet Google can activate an entire vocabulary, thus seeking lesser human recordings.
Here is a list of some of the new features of Google Assistant that a user should know about.
- It can now make and answer phone calls for a user. The feature was demonstrated at the conference, where an individual called and the Assistant answered making it almost impossible to recognize it was a machine.
- It can change its vocal style as per a user’s need, only adding to its voice interactions which are its primary means of communicating.
- The Assistant by the end of the year will support 30 languages and will be available in 80 countries around the world.
- The users can keep asking questions without repeating ‘Hey Google’ and ‘OK Google’ every time, making the conversations more natural.
- Google is bringing a new look for the Assistant’s smartphone app where its smart displays can play content from YouTube and also provide traffic information.
The improved Google Assistant can pose a strong competition to Amazon’s Alexa. While the Assistant, according to the company, is now compatible with 5,000 home devices, up from 1,500 in January this year. Alexa, on the other hand, can control more than 12,000 home devices.