Friday, 25 May, 2018

Google I/O 2018: Assistant to get six new voices, including John Legend's

Google is bringing its Assistant to smart screens like the Lenovo Smart Display Google is bringing its Assistant to smart screens like the Lenovo Smart Display
Glenn Montgomery | 10 May, 2018, 14:32

Yes, "Holly" is the official name of Google Assistant's current default voice which was also the name of the tech giant company in a comedy series "Silicon Valley" which follows the misadventures of introverted computer programmers.

Continued ConversationSoon you'll be able to have a natural back-and-forth conversation without repeating "Hey Google" for each follow-up request.

Google showcased the new technology on Tuesday.

Starting today, you can choose from six new voices for your Google Assistant. Now you can tap "Assistant voice" and test out Voices 1 through 8.

These female AI assistants even get sexually harassed, as Wired and Quartz reported - and Apple and Amazon have only recently updated Siri and Alexa to shut down users who make sexual or violent comments toward them. "But it's not strictly interchangeable between genders".

One of the most important parts of the Assistant is its voice-it needs to feel both personal and natural. In addition, Assistant will be available in 30 countries and 80 languages by the end of the year. The company just announced a raft of new features for the Google Assistant at its I/O developer conference, and for once, there's things that Alexa is going to struggle to match. So it's essential to get male voices in the mix, and get them checking the weather and making shopping lists, too. The voice you select here, will be voice that will play every time you summon and interact with Google Assistant on your smartphone or Google Home speaker. The video above gives you a quick preview of how they all sound. "Passion gets you a lot further", Legend said.

These new voices were all synthesized from WaveNet, which makes Holly's voice possible. "Later this summer, you'll be able to schedule Routines for a specific day or time either using the Assistant app or through the Google Clock app for Android." .

Add some color to your grandpa's prom pic. "It's so complicated. And I think a lot of designers are looking for what is the "right answer" [as in, whose is the "right" voice for these virtual assistants] and it's raising a lot of questions".

At the conference, the company also said that Google Photos is getting a ton of new features based on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Google also announced an optional feature that will reward polite kids with replies, such as "Thanks for saying please", "What a nice way to ask me", and "You're very polite".

Other "digital well-being" features include "Shush" (to ignore people) and "Wind Down" (to sleep).

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