Thursday, 21 September 2017

Google tackles a major flaw with home assistants

GOOGLE HOME

LONDON: Google is teaching its Google Home voice-activated speaker some new tricks. The tech giant announced today that it’s addressing one of the major flaws with assistants like Home and Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo by adding multi-user support. Currently, Google Home and the Echo can’t AMAZON ALEXAdistinguish between individual voices. In other words, they can’t tell if I’m giving it a command or you’re giving it a command. That can be a problem if you have a houseguest who decides it would be funny to order 24 pairs of underwear on your Home. By adding multi-user support, Home, which is powered by Google Assistant, can recognize up to six different users’ voices and provide them with information that’s specific to them. For example, if you ask Google Home what your schedule looks like, it will recognize your voice and tell you what you’ve got lined up for the day. If your husband or wife asks the same question, Home will tell them their unique schedule. The technology works by using Google’s neural networks to analyze your voice. When you set up an account, Home will ask you to repeat the launch phrases “Okay, Google” and “Hey, Google” two times each. Google’s networks will then analyze your voice to determine its specific characteristics and save them for your account. The next time you use those launch phrases, Home will compare what it hears with your saved voice profile and recognize who is speaking to it. Google says Home will be able to answer personal questions for topics like your schedule, shopping lists, news and podcasts, photos, information about your commute, your calendar and Uber account. Amazon is working on similar technology for its Alexa voice assistant.

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