Google releases six new voices for the Google Assistant in addition to the current two options, in case users are getting tired of Holly.
Google Assistant New Voices Increase Count To 8
The Google Assistant now has a total of eight voices, four of which are female voices while the other four are male voices, including the original Holly and a male voice. Each one varies in pitch and speed, so users now have more choices which one sounds better to their ears.
The new voices are made possible by an AI-based voice synthesizer called WaveNet. The technology, created by the Google UK subsidiary DeepMind, simulates entire vocabularies without the need for numerous actual human recordings.
In theory, it should let a celebrity voice Google Assistant on the users' phones and Home speakers. Fortunately, Google already has that idea and announces that the cool voice of the singer John Legend is coming to the app as well, but not until later this year.
How To Use One Of The Google Assistant Voices
To try out the other voices, users can go to the Google Assistant app and navigate to Settings, then Preferences, and lastly, Assistant Voice. The eight options are appropriately tagged Voice 1 to 8, and users can listen to a sample by pressing the speaker icon next to each one.
Changing the voice of Google Assistant on one device changes it to every other Assistant-enabled device with the user's Google Account. As of now, there is no way to choose a voice for a specific device only. Different users, however, can select different voices.
Some users have reported a bug wherein a Google Home speaker randomly switches back to Holly (Voice 1) even after successfully changing the settings. Google will likely fix this issue in the coming days.
It should be noted, too, that the new Google Assistant voices are only currently available in English.
Upcoming Google Assistant Features Revealed
The new voices are a welcome addition, but the unnatural and robotic sounds are still uncomfortable to listen to. However, with the recent breakthroughs, Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, promises that it will soon sound natural.
The search engine company also announced that Google Assistant is getting an upgrade in the intelligence area. The Continued Conversations feature now removes the requirement of saying "OK Google" every time a user talks to the assistant. It can now even compliment children for saying "please."
An experimental feature called Duplex was also revealed. With it, users can call businesses through the Google Assistant, which will then schedule an appointment for the users. Pichai demonstrated this feature on the video below.
The Google I/O event also showcased the newest changes coming to Google's other apps and services, namely Android P, Photos, Maps, and more.