Voice Technology Is The Future – Google Assistant
Google recently demoed their Assistant to attend a Customer call to help book an appointment at a salon. When the Customer called the Salon to book an appointment, the felt they were talking to a real person, while in fact on the other line there was no live person, but an ‘AI powered Assistant’ that sounded pretty much like talking to a real person. Besides the “hmm” and “m-hmmm” that a live person would do when in a conversation, it ended up booking an appointment for the Customer who had called in.
While this sounded much like two individuals in a conversation, one of those part of the discussion was not a person, but a ‘Machine’.
Unlike its ‘friends’ Siri, Cortana, Alexa, Google Assistant can also be used to help support a particular business process. The only upgrade that it had was using its Duplex Technology capability and perform a task with the same sounding effort as a human being. Here the test was to check if Google Assistant could be used to perform different tasks, something like book an appointment at a salon or restaurant however for a business there are a lot of things that will be considered, this also includes the Security Policies for using Robots to do a Human’s job.
Google assistant is a virtual companion and is available on Android phones and tablets running Android 5.0 or higher, on iOS devices via a downloadable app, and on certain Chromebooks and home speaker products. With Android and other Google devices, Assistant can typically be summoned via a simple voice command or by pressing and holding the Home key on your device. Most functions mentioned below can be performed by Google Assistant.
Notes & Reminders
If you need to take down a note, one can simply open Assistant by saying “Hello Google” and say “note to self” You can even opt to have the note sent as an email to your own address via Gmail. Google Assistant can act as your secretary and compile a list of reminders, to-do tasks, or or notes and then send this list as an email. It can even send the list to multiple people or post it into apps like Slack, Evernote or Trello. As an example Assistant can set a reminder for a specific time and day just by saying “Remind me to call John on Monday at noon,” One can set recurring reminders by adding the word “every” into the spoken command (e.g., “Remind me to check the inventory every Thursday at 1:00. In addition to Reminders there is also a command “Remember that the meeting is at 4:00 every Thursday” If you need to recall the information, one can just say, “What did I tell you about ..?” followed by the subject “the inventory” or whatever the case may be.
You can create a calendar event by telling Assistant “add to my calendar” followed by the event’s name, date and time. You can also ask Assistant something like “When’s my next appointment?” or “What’s on my calendar for next Monday?” Apple users can also link Assistant to their iPhone’s calendar by setting up Google’s IFTTT applet for integrating Apple Calendar with Google Home and then using the command “Add to my iOS calendar” followed by the event’s title, date, and time.
Communication & Messaging
If you need to make a phone call, Google Assistant can act as your operator. One can ask it to call any publicly listed business or any person in their contacts by specifying “mobile” or “work” and even include “on speakerphone” in case you need the all to be on a speaker phone.
Google Assistant can understand “text” followed by the contact’s name and th message. It will confirm if it got everything right and then ask if you want to send the message. Assistant makes it easy to find emails within Gmail, too: simply ask it to “find my emails from” a particular contact or to “find my emails about” a specific subject, and it’ll pop up results. The Assistant will also provide functionality to link LinkedIn to Assistant and then let you write a post speaking it aloud.
Functions & Settings for The Phone
Google Assistant can help get around your Android phone as well. If you are telling it to open any app or website or even ask it to search within an app. Something like increasing or decreasing the volume of music playing, or completely asking the Assistant to mute the phone can also be done hands free.
Additional Useful Tools
One can get detailed information on traffic before they head out just by asking Assistant “what the traffic is like on the way to work” or “how long it’ll take to get to a location” and it will be able to tell you the distance and time that will be taken to reach the destination.
Just like a human being, Google Assistant can occasionally get a little talkative too. If you want to get info from Assistant without having it talk out loud, one can either silence their phone’s media volume.
Ups & Downs
This technology is surely a game changer for not only individuals but even business alike. Also unlike any other technology innovation, this too has its ups & downs, and adds in its own security risks. This will include chances of it being misused too, however if there are restrictions implied towards its use for helping businesses, it will need rigorous testing, and continuous innovation to make sure it is able to keep up with the security and privacy policies for a business.