Google Assistant will now speak two languages simultaneously.
Google has enabled its voice assistant technology to identify and respond in two languages, without requiring bilingual users/families to change settings each time they alternate between their two tongues.
Google Assistant is the first among the major voice assistants to introduce the bilingual feature – something that could potentially give it an edge over rival Amazon Echo. The Echo remains the most popular smart speaker in the U.S. with two-thirds of the smart-speaker owners talking to Alexa at least once a month, according to eMarketer. Google Home is used by 30% of U.S. smart speaker owners each month.
Google started working on its language identification tool, LangID, in 2013. The technology can distinguish between 2,000 pairs of languages, according to Google. Google’s latest bilingual offering will be operative by Thursday, starting with English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. The company plans to add more languages for bilingual speakers later this year.