Google announced the launch of various new features to its voice-based assistant, which will be rolling out soon. One of the features enables you to teach Assistant to recognize and pronounce people’s names properly. Meanwhile, Google has also updated Assistant to respond nearly 100% accurately to alarms and timer tasks. It is also going to be smart at responding to any queries based on your search habits.
Even when, Google Assistant is available in multiple accents and languages, it still has issues when it comes to pronouncing names, or understanding certain words. But with the new update, Assistant will be able to “enunciate and recognize names of your contacts the way you pronounce them.” According to Google, Assistant will listen and remember the pronunciation, but the recording of your voice will not be kept. The feature will be first available in English with more languages coming soon.
Google also mentioned that the Assistant’s NLU models has been fully rebuilt, for it to accurately understand when you set timers for different tasks, and around the same time. “This upgrade uses machine learning technology powered by state-of-the-art BERT, a technology we invented in 2018 and first brought to Search that makes it possible to process words in relation to all the other words in a sentence, rather than one-by-one in order,” explained by Google in its blog. This feature has already been released by Google for alarms and timers on smart speakers in English in the US.
Google also mentioned that they have applied BERT to improve the quality of conversations with Assistant as well. To answer your follow-up questions, Assistant will use previous interactions and also what’s being displayed on your phone or smart display. According to an example cited by Google, “If you’re having a conversation with your Assistant about Miami and you want more information, it will know that when you say “show me the nicest beaches” you mean beaches in Miami.” not only that, it will also be able to fathom questions based on what you’re looking at on your phone or tablet screen.