Google I/O 2018, Google’s annual developer conference, brought its own bundle of surprises to many users around the world. Google CEO Sundar Pichai didn’t shy away from mentioning how the Google Assistant was changing lives around the world and has become an integral part of billions of Android users. In fact, he said Google Assistant’s usage in India has tripled in the past one year.
From a more intuitive interactive experience to hardware integration, the Google Assistant is ready to take the AI world by storm in the coming months.
But, apart from the above, perhaps one of the biggest announcements from Pichai was that Google Assistant will now support six different voices!
Google Assistant To Sound More ‘Sixier’
Currently, Google Assistant is using the voice, code named ‘Holly’. She was a real person who spent months training and recording after which Google stitched those recordings to come up with the current voice for the assistant.
Now, Google has announced that it will release the Google Assistant in six different voices. The objective is to experiment with different dialects and languages globally to make the Google Assistant more interactive.
To make things more interesting, Google also showcased a video of famous American singer and song writer John Legend (known for his hit single All of me) training to be the voice for the Google Assistant.
The new voices for the Assistant will come to multiple Google devices later this year.
Okay Google…Hey Google!
Another update made to the Assistant is that you won’t have to say “ Hey Google” or “ Ok Google” every time you want to continue the conversation.
According to the upcoming feature, users will now be able to continue a conversation with the Google Assistant without breaking flow or having to say “Hey Google” for a reply because Google Assistant keeps the mic open. Now, it will listen to everything subsequent until a break occurs in the conversation.
This way the conversation with the Google Assistant becomes more natural.
At the event it was also announced that the AI feature will also be integrated with Navigation in maps to allow users to share ETAs and play music simultaneously while navigating.
Too Lazy to Book an Appointment? #MakeGoogleDoIt
An upcoming update coming with the Assistant is that it will soon be able to make appointments and reservations for you.
The Google Assistant’s voice in the demo was scary in a way, just by the sheer natural tone the AI had. As an experiment Google showcased a demo where the AI fixed an appointment at a hair salon.
The Assistant called the salon, fixed the appointment and then notified the user. Surprisingly, it didn’t sound like a bot booking the appointment and was very intuitive in responding to the queries of the salon executive.
It’s a new technology that Google is working with called Google Duplex and is looking to roll out this experiment very soon.
Google Now Has Something to ‘Show’ Off
Last but not the least, Google also showcased some hardware for the Google Assistant. The gadgets are going to be something on similar grounds as the Amazon Show or Echo Spot.
Google showcased some of its smart displays at CES 2017 and is now the company is looking to partner with brands like Lenovo, JBL and LG to roll out smart display in July this year.
The smart devices will bring to the users the ease of using voice commands and interacting with the device through a touch. You will be able to watch videos and live TV on Youtube. Like having Google Assistant on a big screen, nothing more.
These devices will also offer features like video calling and also offer multiple google applications. At the event, during a demo, Google’s Director for Product Management also showed how you can now place an order at a nearby Starbucks and pick up your order later.
Google announced that they’ll be working with 8 different brands to introduced their Food pick-up & delivery service to their platform.