(Pocket-lint) - Google currently offers multiple Google Assistant voices in English for US users, but starting this week, it is expanding one of these internationally.
More specifically, it is launching a new Google Assistant voice in the following languages: English (in the UK and India), French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Korean, and Italian. Those countries will now have a second voice option, built with Google DeepMind’s WaveNet technology.
Last year, while at the Google I/O 2018 conference, Google previewed artist John Legend's voice as one of six new Google Assistant voices that were in the works for US users. Thanks to a DeepMind artificial intelligence and speech synthesis model, WaveNet, Google said it could easily sample human speech, thereby cutting down on studio time, to quickly create realistic-sounding voice.
We tried the John Legend voice and found it sounded natural, with excellent pitch and pacing. But Google Assistant's newest voice is unique in that it can better understand the way users in certain countries talk, including their accents, cultural references, geographical points of interest, etc. The point is, the voice should sound like a native speaker, and it should more accurately listen and respond to native speakers.
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Google Assistant is available in over 30 languages. US users can choose between 11 English voices, while the UK now has two English voices.
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How to choose a Google Assistant voice
To pick a new voice, go into Settings in the Google Assistant app, and you can select from the different voices available. You'll notice each voice available is displayed by colour, rather than gender.
Android phone and tablet
- On your Android phone or tablet, touch and hold the Home button or say "Ok Google".
- At the bottom right, tap the compass-like icon.
- At the top right, tap your profile picture or initial > Settings.
- Tap Assistant > Assistant voice.
- Choose a voice.
iPhone and iPad
- Open the Google Assistant app
- At the top right, tap your profile image or initial > Assistant > Assistant voice.
- Choose a voice.