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Google Assistant will soon make phone calls on your behalf

Google Assistant gets a bunch of new features announced at I/O 2018. Google Assistant has six new voices with John Legend’s voice coming later this year.

tech Updated: May 09, 2018 13:21 IST
Marcia Sekhose
Marcia Sekhose
Hindustan Times
Google,Google I/O 2018,Google I/O 2018 dates
Google Assistant will soon engage in telephonic conversations.(AFP)

Microsoft’s Build 2018 conference lay deep focus on artificial intelligence. Google also began its annual developers conference on the same lines. Google I/O 2018 day one was filled with announcements on how the tech giant is using AI on its products.

The biggest AI development announced was the ability of Google Assistant to soon start making calls on your behalf. Called ‘Google Duplex’ Google Assistant is being developed to engage in telephonic conversations. Google demonstrated Assistant calling a salon to book an appointment for a haircut. The conversation is quite natural with Assistant understanding the questions and responses.

Google says that Assistant can understand the nuances and context of the conversation. Google is currently working on this technology and expects to release it soon for users and businesses.

Google also renewed Assistant by giving it six new voices. Google has been working with Wavenet to make Google Assistant’s voice more human-like. In addition to six new voices, Google has also roped in R&B singer John Legend to get his voice on its digital assistant. John Legend’s voice on Assistant will come later this year. John legend’s voice that it will be accompanied with funny responses in addition to the normal ones.

Google Assistant stats

Google Assistant is available on over 500 million devices worldwide. Google Assistant is available in cars over 40 auto brands, and on over 5,000 connected home devices. Google Assistant’s usage in India tripled since the beginning of the year. It will be available in 30 languages in 80 countries.

Google Assistant new features

Google has also made Assistant smarter by eliminating the need to say ‘Hey Google’ all the time. The first command will naturally require ‘Hey Google’ but the sentences that follow need not have the command. Google calls this feature ‘Continued Conversation’ which will be rolled out in the coming weeks. With this feature you can have a natural conversation with Google Assistant . It will also understand two or three queries asked in one command itself with ‘Multiple Actions’ on Google Assistant. This feature has been rolled out for Google Assistant.

Google Assistant’s family feature has also been updated with a new feature called ‘Pretty Please’. Kids can now command Google Assistant to read a story, help with their homework by saying ‘please’. Google Assistant will respond accordingly when hearing commands with the word ‘please’. This feature will be rolled out later this year.

Google Assistant Smart Displays

Google Assistant-powered ‘Smart Displays’ which were announced at CES 2018 will go on sale this July. These are essentially smart speakers but with a display up front integrated with Google Assistant. The company demonstrated the smart displays by showing functions like using Assistant to dictate a recipe for you. Some of the first products would be Lenovo’ Smart Display, JBL Link View and LG ThinQ View.

Google Assistant on smartphones

Google Assistant on smartphones will soon be integrated with ‘Visual Experience’. Now on the Google app, conversations with Assistant will have a more immersive. For example, if you order food through Assistant the Google app will show pictures of the menu along with the map for the delivery address and the bill. Google Assistant will also notify you once the order is placed. Google has partnered with brands like Starbucks and Domino’s for this feature which will roll out on Android this summer, and iOS later this year.

First Published: May 08, 2018 23:32 IST