Google has become aware that the key to getting people using digital assistants more is speed. The new version of Google Assistant is not only more intuitive and easier to use, but it’s also very, very fast.
The example used by Google product managers is one of multiple commands, all at the same time.
‘Hey Google,’
‘Turn on the porch lights,’
‘Open my Instagram,’
‘Call Mum.’
All of these commands can be completed without having to use the annoying activation phrase, ‘Hey Google,’ every time. That’s clever and handy if you’ve got a lot of things to tell Google to do, but of course, most of us still use the keyboard, because we get the result we want on the first go. Thousands of memes and jokes have been made in relation to all digital assistants being terrible at understanding the words you’re using and of users being forced to slowly speak into their phone or device to get it to perform the most mundane of tasks.
But the new Google Assistant uses past commands and good old fashioned assumption to work out, not only what you’re saying, but what you’re probably trying to say. Now, this has been done before with hilarious results, but the new AI will adapt to your accent, location (you probably won’t want to play loud music in bed) and numerous other means of assumption.
Behind all this is all that speed. The idea is to have people using their assistants as the first option with confidence, rather than the, ‘I’ll give this a shot because I want to see what happens’ option.
With Google improving things, it’s highly likely that Apple, Amazon and others won’t be far behind, but will Google’s library of information about you help them, or will the competition discover another, even more important advantage? Time will tell.