At the annual I/O developers conference on Tuesday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced that users now have six additional options for their Assistant's voice, one of which is that of famed singer/songwriter John Legend. The new voices arrive thanks to the company's work with Wavenet technology over the last year. They'll be available for both mobile and the Google Home beginning later today. Click here to catch up on the latest news from Google I/O 2018!
Xiaomi revealed through its Mi Community that it will offer a new voice assistant speaker for $30 in January. Sold by Xiaomi subsidiary Yeelight, the big deal with this device is that it will sport two virtual assistants: One based on Xiaomi artificial intelligence technology to be used within China, and Amazon Alexa for customers located in the Western market. This dual-A.I. support enables Yeelight to sell the voice assistant speaker on a global scale.
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.
As voice assistants like Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri get more popular, a new study found what humans think about the technology -- and it sounds like the 2013 movie "Her." The study found people who use voice assistants regularly wish it were human, while others admitted to sexually fantasizing about their virtual assistant. The study, which focuses on voice technology implications for brands, was conducted by J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group London, a platform for research and analytics, and the media agency Mindshare Futures. More than 30,000 respondents in the U.K. took part in a two-week self-ethnography project from January - March 2017, jotting down their behaviors and attitudes related to voice technology. Researchers then analyzed two focus groups of 12 of the thousands of participants.