Google launched Tuesday Google Home, the company’s new voice-controlled speaker that will compete with Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. The Artificial Intelligence technology is designed to play music, read the owner’s schedule and control other internet-connected kits around the house.

Google’s virtual assistant, which is simply called “Google Assistant,” can handle follow-up questions so users can be part of a more natural conversation.The internet giant pointed out that its AI is known for its learning ability, meaning that the software will learn the owner’s habits and needs to anticipate the best response, according to a report by The Verge.

Google Home
Google Home speaker. Image credit: Google.

Because we are talking about a brand-new device in a relatively new category, Google is not taking the risk of advertising Google Home as a product that comes with voice recognition. It can only handle a single account at a time and is unable to tell different voices apart.

A family of four can use the same account and control several devices connected to Google Home, but they will not be able to get personal responses such as individual schedules or Spotify playlists. Ironically, the first promotional video for the device shows two parents and two kids performing very personal transactions with the same Google Home unit.

Google Home
Google Home speaker. Image credit: Google.

The mom asks the device for an update on her individual schedule and dictates a text message to a friend of her. Then her husband gets traffic updates on his “usual schedule” and even receives an alternate route on his smartphone. Those commands are actually not possible given that the gadget can only accept one account at a time, which means that a family cannot share Google Home as the video suggests.

Mario Queiroz, the company’s vice president of product management, said Home’s ultimate goal is to recognize the voices of different human beings in the room, according to The Verge. The comment suggests that they are working on that software ability and the device will eventually be able to give different results each time someone else asks Google Home for a personal transaction. He did not explain how they will achieve that, though.

The Verge article reads that internal teams at Google are currently testing how the technology could work not only for a family that has several Gmail account owners but also for users who have multiple accounts themselves.

Talking to a personal assistant with a company’s name might be weird

Google Assistant is not like Siri, Alexa or Cortana. It has no human name, and that will most likely force users to feel like they are sharing very personal information with a company rather than having a natural conversation with a virtual assistant. The internal teams at the company might have thought it was not necessary to assign human names to objects for it to have success.

But regardless of the firm’s claims that every single word stays between users and Google Assistant, saying “Okay Google” does not sound as cool as saying “Hello Siri.”  Google Assistant will not only be in the new Home speaker but also in the new Pixel phones and Google’s Allo chat app, among other virtual places.

Source: The Verge