During today’s Google I/O event, the eponymous host company shared its vision for the next phase of its voice controlled AI assistant. The Google Assistant roadmap is all about expansion and accessibility, with new features making it easier to activate and use, as well as wider global availability slated for the end of the year.
Key to the Google Assistant improvements announced today is natural conversation. A continued conversation feature allows for extended use of the AI without having to continually sat the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” wake word. Complimentary to that functionality is the ability to understand multiple requests in a single voice command, saving users in need of multiple requests plenty of time and toil.
Thanks to DeepMind’s advancements in AI and WaveNet technology that have expedited the process of training of new voices for virtual assistants, fresh personalities are coming to Google Assistant, too. Six new voices are available today, and Google also promised that singer-songwriter John Legend will offer his multiple Grammy Award winning voice to the software before the end of 2018.
In terms of regional expansion, Google says its Assistant will be available in 80 countries before the year ends – thanks to the launch of Google Home and Google Home Mini in Denmark, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and Sweden – making these legendary upgrades a truly global phenomenon.