This week, Google Assistant launched its first celebrity voice cameo and with this, you can listen to Grammy-winning artist John Legend’s voice on the digital assistant. However, like all good things in the world, you will be able to listen to Legend’s voice on Google Assistant for a limited period of time. So we suggest that you make the most of it while it lasts.
Legend’s voice on Google Assistant will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to you, give you information about the weather and answer some questions that you ask of it. It is worth adding that the Grammy-winning artist’s voice will be available on all devices that have Google Assistant. So you will be able to access it via your smartphone, Google Home or even on devices that run iOS.
We should mention that at Google I/O 2018, the technology giant announced that it has added six new voices to its digital assistant, and John Legend’s voice is one among them. At the event, the company also gave a preview of WaveNet, which is basically its speech synthesis model. Powered by the company’s DeepMind artificial intelligence, the technology works by taking samples of human speech and then directly modelling audio waveforms using it. This results in creating voices that sound more realistic.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, “WaveNet allowed us to shorten the studio time, and the model can actually capture the richness of his voice.”
The technology giant made Legend record answers to only a few prompts. These include “Hey, Google, serenade me” or “Hey, Google, are we just ordinary people?”. Google has also said that there are some easter eggs that the users may find. However, we should add here that most of the responses will continue to be in the regular voice that we hear on Assistant.
To activate John Legend’s voice, you can say “Hey, Google, talk like a Legend” or go to Settings and switch to his voice. It is worth mentioning that the feature is only available in the United States as of now and Legend’s voice only talks in English.
But then, that’s hardly a reason to be disappointed as it may get rolled out to other regions. Even if does not, let’s not forget that Google Assistant will be getting five other voices and some of them may be rolled out in other regions of the world.
Even if the worst happens and none of them makes it outside the United States, this is the first time Google has got celebrity voices on Assistant, not the last.