A lot of announcements about the upcoming features in Google products were made at this year’s Google I/O. After watching the I/O, it seems pretty clear that Google is betting on AI and Machine Learning. Google is trying very hard to push Artifical Intelligence in each of their product. A lot of cool new features were announced in Google Maps, Google News, Google Photos and what not. There were a few announcements regarding Android P as well. But, one thing that stole the show was ‘Google Duplex‘. It’s a new feature coming in Google Assistant which will help you fix an appointment or reserve a table by calling the business on your behalf and conversing with them just like a human. Well, if you haven’t seen the demo yet, let’s see it first before moving on.
Cool. Isn’t it? After watching the demo, one thing is pretty clear. It’s going to be tough for Alexa and Siri to compete with Google Assistant. Even now, if you compare all these virtual assistants, Google Assistant is leading the game but is closely followed by Siri, Alexa, and Bixby. But once the Google Duplex goes live, it may leave all of them way behind.
Other than this duplex feature, Google also announced six new voices coming to Google Assistant and some minor improvements. Although we’ll have to wait for several months to get Duplex in our assistant, the voices are now widely available and you can set any one of them as default voice for your virtual assistant.
These voices sound more like a human and less like a robot, thanks to the WaveNet model, which takes into account elements such as pitch, pace, and pauses, giving text-to-speech a much needed revamp. There is still a lot of scope for improvements, but the new voices are still better than what assistant had before. So, let’s first hear how these voices sound like:
There’s one more surprise for you. Google is adding the voice of award-winning musician John Legend to the Assistant very soon. So, Google is all set to lead this virtual assistant game from the front. However, till the time John’s voice is not available, let’s settle for these 6 new voices and make one of them as default for our Google Assistant. So, here’s how to get them:
- Open the Google Assistant App and click on the blue button on top of the white box that pops up (as shown below).
- Open Settings as shown below.
- Under settings, you’ll find different tabs. Click on the ‘Preferences’ tab.
- Then, click on the ‘Assistant Voice’ option.
- You’ll get 8 options. So, try them out and choose the one that you like the most.