If your parents gave you a name that might be considered a little unusual and hard to pronounce, a new feature will allow you to teach Google Assistant
to say your name correctly. Over the next few days, not only will you be able to tell Assistant exactly how to say a hard-to-pronounce-name, it also will understand whom you are referring to when you say the name out loud.
To learn a name that is hard to say correctly, once this feature goes live (again, this should happen in a few days), Assistant will listen to how you pronounce a name and it will remember it. No worries, Google
is not going to keep any recording of your voice. The feature will initially be offered in English and will be available in additional languages in the near future.
Google, in its latest blog post
, explains why this is so important. The search giant wrote, “Names matter, and it’s frustrating when you’re trying to send a text or make a call and Google Assistant mispronounces or simply doesn’t recognize a contact. We want Assistant to accurately recognize and pronounce people’s names as often as possible, especially those that are less common.”
Google also pointed out how important context is when Assistant is trying to understand the meaning of a conversation. The Alphabet unit says that it has rebuilt Google Assistant’s Natural Language Understanding (NLU) so that it can more easily understand what you are trying to accomplish with a command. With its home-grown technology known as BERT, Google can “process” words in relation to the other words in a sentence instead of going through these words one-by-one.
With these improvements, Assistant can now respond to your requests to set alarms and timers with almost a 100% accuracy rate. Google also plans on offering almost perfect accuracy with other Assistant-related tasks as well.
BERT will also allow Google Assistant to deliver more natural back-and-forth conversations. That is because Assistant will recall your previous interactions and it can understand what is typed on your smartphone or smart display screen. As Google notes, if you’re in a conversation with Assistant about Miami and ask, “show me the nicest beaches,” it knows that you mean beaches in Miami.