John Legend to Lend His Voice to Google Assistant

How the rise of voice search puts pressure on Google's business model

How the rise of voice search puts pressure on Google's business model

In one speech, Google urged potential app developers to create products made to be seen: "It's not just about voice, adding rich visuals to supplement a conversational interface makes it far more engaging and delightful for your users". In fact, Google included singer John Legend's voice.

These new voices only work with English for now. But with advancements in AI and WaveNet technology from DeepMind, we can now create new voices in just a few weeks and are able to capture subtleties like pitch, pace, and all the pauses that convey meaning, so that voices are natural-sounding and unique.

In case there are some of you guys out there feel that Google Assistant is lacking in terms of voice options, you might have heard that at Google I/O 2018, the company announced that their digital assistant will be getting six new voices. Now you can tap "Assistant voice" and test out Voices 1 through 8.

Hey Google, Alexa, Siri and Cortana - why do you have to be female? The Assistant will be able to understand when you're talking to it versus someone else, and will respond accordingly. Amazon recently added a similar feature.

These phones calls happen for you, behind the scenes, thanks to the power of Google Duplex, and the Google Assistant. Google says that "Pretty Please" feature would launch later this year. When a kid asks the Google Home or Assistant something, using words like please and thank you will be understood, appreciated, and rewarded.

"Hey Google, order my usual from Starbucks." and the Assistant will fire up the Starbucks app, order your usual, then give you a confirmation and pickup time.

After selecting a particular voice, you can tap on the speaker icon on the right to preview each voice, before selecting one.

Today's smart home speakers and virtual assistant apps may be high-tech wonders that can turn on the lights, start our cars, book our appointments and make our calls - but they can also reinforce the dated stereotype of a subservient woman catering to a user's every whim. This includes things like connected blinds, kettles, ovens, refrigerators, fans, air purifiers, coffee makers, and sprinklers.

Instagram users may soon gain access to a "Mute" option along with a slew of other features.

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