When we think of virtual assistants personas, we think the female voices of Siri or Cortana. With Google voice search, there wasn’t much of a persona or identity to it, now, it looks like that’s changing.
With the official rollout of Google Home, Google took its voice search capabilities and added a female persona. The newly named Google Assistant has a not quite human-sounding name, but it’s more descriptive than Google Now.
Google will have devices that feature the Assistant the way Amazon has the Echo and Echo Dot, and will be powered by Alexa. This information was previewed at Google I/O this summer. You can interact with the Assistant in more limited form right now in Google’s new messaging app, Allo.
According to Ryan Germick, the person responsible for leading the Google Doodles team and helped develop the Assistant’s personality, Google Assistant should be thought of as a friendly companion, “Always there but never in the way; her primary job is to be helpful.”
Google Assistant, like Siri, Cortana and Alexa, will have conversational features, allowing it to “humanize” it and make Google “more approachable.” Something that will help Google Assistant put itself over its rivals is its search index and knowledge graph. But there could be, according to Germick, instantiates where Google Home won’t provide a result, other than reading back a list of search results.
It was explained that, when creating the Assistant’s personality, Google utilized “storytellers” from Pixar and The Onion, among others. They used these “storytellers” to craft scripted answers to a broad range of questions. One of the humanizing things that Google Assistant will provide is joke telling. These scripted answers provided by the storytellers will help Google Assistant provide jokes and humor to the user.
Germick called the Google Assistant a “beautiful marriage of technology and scripting.” Google Home will formally come out November 4th. Here is the video released at I/O, which showcases the Google Home user experience.