Google on Friday announced that its AI-based Assistant would soon be accessible in more than 30 global languages, including Hindi, reaching almost 95 percent of all Android devices worldwide. Apart from Hindi, Google’s virtual assistant will also expand into other languages including Indonesian, Norwegian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, and Thai on Android devices and iPhones. Google will incorporate a new multilingual mode on Assistant as well, allowing families that speak two or more languages to converse with it naturally. Google Assistant also gets two new features – Routines and Location-based reminders.
Language expansion and multilingual support
Currently available in eight languages, Google Assistant is looking to take on the likes of Amazon Alexa by pushing its proprietary AI technology to global markets by adding 22 new languages by the end of 2018. Apart from adding languages, Google is looking to expand support for multilingual users. Google Assistant will, later this year, be able to converse “fluently” with families and individuals that speak more than one language. Multilingual support will initially be available for English, French, and German; support for more languages has been confirmed.
Assistant Mobile OEM programme
Google says that it is working with certain smartphone OEMs – LG, Sony Mobile, and Xiaomi – to help build deeper integrations for Google Assistant into their devices. “We’ve already been working with OEMs for more than a year and continue to work together so they can build device-specific commands with the Assistant, develop integration with hardware-based AI chips, ensure “Ok Google” and “Hey Google” work when the screen is off, and build other custom integrations,” said Nick Fox, Vice President of Product at Google.
The Mountain View giant is also looking to work with certain mobile carriers under the Assistant Carrier programme to help users avail features such as procure cellular plan information, add services to their plan, get customer support, etc. Google says Sprint, Koodo, Telus, and Vodafone are currently onboard for Assistant integrations, with other partners in the fray.
Location-based reminders for Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers, such as Google Home, will also be activated in the coming weeks.