Why John Legend voicing the Google Assistant matters

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As an added feature, you can assign different Google Assistant voices to respond to different people.

Yesterday, was the kickoff of Google I/O, the annual 3-day tech festival where Google unveils the new tech it will use to take over the world. With the help of this, we can generate speech which mimics any human voice and sounds much more natural. One of those voices is the voice of celebrity soul singer John Legend.

The company has also made it more conversational and is also expected to bring Assistant support to more than 80 countries this year and also in more than 30 languages.

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Alexa was ahead on this front before, as it has male and female versions with American, Canadian, Australian, Indian, and British accents.

Google stated that these features would be rolling out in the next few months and with the smart speaker battle just heating up in India, it remains to be seen which assistant emerges victorious. Alexa is now available in German and Japanese as well as English. Custom routines allow you to set a command word or phrase and choose from a range of actions and outputs from the Assistant, including the ability to set custom voice feedback from the Assistant, which should make for all kinds of fun. Many other enhancements were announced, such as the Action Notifications. The assistant will picture answering your questions.

Alexa has most of the same features, albeit more limited.

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A video played during the announcement showed Legend recording some audio for the project, including phrases like "i want a puppy with sweet eyes, and a fluffy tail" and "happy birthday to the person whose birthday it is". The company also quietly announced that Custom Routines are rolling out, while the Explore tab is also gaining new Editorial Picks for Actions.

With the launch of Custom Routines, Google is replacing the Shortcut feature. For parents concerned about their kids rudely bossing the Assistant around, the "Pretty Please" feature powered by Family Link being introduced later this year will offer positive reinforcement to children who ask for things nicely, and say "please" and "thank you", to encourage polite conversation.

A big part of both smart assistants is controlling internet-connected devices, particularly at home.

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