Sometimes, the same old robot voice just won't cut it. Sure, we may be living in the digital age, but not everything has to sound like it. And with Google's virtual assistant becoming more conversational with every update, you'll want to choose a voice you don't mind interacting with several times throughout the day, every day. Google has programmed eight different voice options in a variety of human-like pitches to give the virtual assistant life. These voices are different than the one you may have heard in real life or TV ads.
Samsung has faced a tough slog getting Bixby to the masses, but now its voice assistant is accessible in more than 200 countries including the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. It's been available in South Korea and the US since July, when it launched after months of delays. Part of Bixby's appeal is its positioning beyond that of a simple voice assistant. Samsung claims it learns over time, recognizing "natural language" to make interacting with your phone easier and more intuitive. It understands cross-application commands and thanks to deep integration it can be accessed without any interruptions to what you're already doing on-screen.
It can be difficult to view the rise of voice assistants as a whole as more voice assistants and their smart speaker devices enter the market. We created a timeline of voice assistants for you to see how the voice revolution evolved since its beginnings in the early 1960s. When you look at the timeline, you can easily see four distinct eras of voice assistant history. It all began with what we'd like to call the Origin period. IBM became the first to introduce a voice assistant with its Shoebox device.
The Guardian reports the plan to launch an Alexa rival, which has been given the working title "Beeb," and will apparently be light on features, given the Corp's relatively slender developer resources versus major global tech giants. The BBC's own news site says the digital voice assistant will launch next year without any proprietary hardware to house it. Instead the corporation is designing the software to work on "all smart speakers, TVs and mobiles." Why is a publicly funded broadcaster ploughing money into developing an AI when the market is replete with commercial offerings -- from Amazon's Alexa to Google's Assistant, Apple's Siri and Samsung's Bixby to name a few? The intent is to "experiment with new programmes, features and experiences without someone else's permission to build it in a certain way," a BBC spokesperson told BBC news.