Google Home can now tell who’s talking – Detroit Free Press
Among the first things you might ask the cloud-based voice activated Google Assistant inside Google Home is to âtell me about my day.â Google Assistant willÂ then rattle off the local weather, upcoming appointmentsÂ and connect you to preferred news sources.
Until now, though, the standalone artificial intelligence-infused $129 speaker â Googleâs rival to Amazonâs popular Alexa voice-based Echo speaker â couldnât distinguish your voice from that of a spouse, partner or roommate.
Heck, they want to hear about their day too.
Google began rolling out a feature this week to remedy the situation in households with a shared Google Home unit: the ability for up to six people to connect their account to that unit and, following a brief training period, have the speaker recognize each personâs voice independently. Google Home can then deliver their commute times, calendars, playlistsÂ and so on âÂ not yours.
Itâs a welcome feature that addresses a potential nuisance â and is a stunt Alexa canât yet pull off on Echo devices, though Â Amazon no doubt is at work trying.
Youâll need the latest Google Home app to get started. Then, look for a card that says âmulti-user is availableâ and if you canât find it, click the icon in the upper right to locate your connected devices, and make sure to link your account.
Google asks you to train your voice by saying the phrases, âOKÂ Googleâ and âHey Googleâ twice each.Â The way Google explains it, the phrases are analyzed by a neural network thatÂ can detect certain characteristics of each voice. From then on, any time you say “OKÂ Google” or “Hey Google” to your Google Home, the neural network will compare the sound of your voice to its previous analysis to determine whetherÂ it is you speaking or not, a comparison Google claims takes place in a matter of milliseconds.
AÂ few things to keep in mind: If you have more than one Google Home in your house, youâll have to set up each one independently even if you share the same network; voice training is local to the device.Â The feature doesnât work on smartphones that incorporate the Google Assistant either, though phones of course are more personal anyway.
Google also adds that the feature is not available for kids under 13.
The feature rollout comes to the U.S. first and will expand to the U.K. in coming months, Google says.
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