Google has announced that a number of new features for its Google Assistant will launch in 2018.
The company showcased the new features for its digital assistant at its I/O event in California.
Google announced that six new voices would be available for Assistant thanks to breakthrough WaveNet technology from its DeepMind team.
The company has also enlisted the voice of singer John Legend as an Assistant option for certain contexts.
Global support for Google Assistant is also expanding, and the digital assistant will be available in 30 languages and 80 countries before the end of the year.
Google Assistant will soon support the ability to have a natural conversation, meaning you will no longer need to begin every query with “Hey Google” – as long as your next query follows from your previous one.
This conversation feature will roll out in the coming weeks.
The company has also improved the assistant’s capabilities for understanding and completing multiple actions from a single query, even when delivered in complex sentence structures.
As Google Assistant is often accessed by children through Google Home and other devices, Google has addressed worries that kids are becoming too demanding of digital assistants.
A new feature named “Pretty Please” aims to address this issue, requiring children to address queries politely in order to complete them.
Google said its recently-announced smart displays for Google Assistant will also launch in July 2018.
Smart displays allow users to navigate and play video content like YouTube TV using only voice commands.
Maps and smartphones
On the smartphone front, Google will roll out Assistant integration with Google Maps along with an improved Google Assistant experience for Android and iOS.
Maps integration will allow drivers to make context-sensitive queries regarding their route and traffic situation, and the enhanced Assistant app will provide more information with context-dependent controls for devices like smart home appliances.
Google said its Assistant will also be able to read your messages to you while you are driving with a voice request.
Both Maps integration and the enhanced Assistant app will roll out later this year.