Google Has Been Listening to How You Talk to Your Assistant

“Google Assistant is only two years old, but users certainly don’t talk to it like a two-year-old.”

Google Has Been Listening to How You Talk to Your Assistant

These days, it’s not unusual for someone to set their alarm by voice command, whether it’s through a phone or a smart speaker device. But there is a huge amount of variety in how people say it – from “Wake me up at seven,” to “Set alarm six”. There are, in fact, 5000 different ways to say it, according to Google Assistant Engineering VP Scott Huffman.

In a new post on Google’s blog, Huffman has laid out a number of interesting insights gleaned from Google’s voice-driven AI platform, Google Assistant. Queries are 40 times more likely to be “action-oriented” (for example, “Text so-and-so”) than search-related, for example. And queries are 200 times “more conversational” than search queries, meaning users are asking very specific questions such as “What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow?”

These illustrate two important trends related to the overall rise of AI-driven voice interfaces. One is that, as Huffman points out, people use voice assistants to do things, and not so much to find information – hence the popularity of action-oriented commands. The other is that people have developed some really high expectations for AI in short order, expecting these systems to understand complex queries as that wouldn’t be out of place in a conversation with a human. Google Assistant is only two years old, but users certainly don’t talk to it like a two-year-old.

And that, in turn, points to another key finding: “Google Assistant users defy the early adopter stereotype”, Huffman notes, with families and seniors being representing major user bases. Voice interaction is highly intuitive, and with AI technologies like Google’s now able to understand relatively complex questions and commands, it’s being embraced by all kinds of people as an extremely easy-to-use tool.

Source: The Keyword