Google Assigns Random Colors to AI Voice Assistants


Google reportedly assigned various colors to the eight voice options of its Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based Assistant

Technology giant Google issued an update to its Assistant service and mobile app on July 11, 2018, by assigning colors to various artificial intelligence voice options. The update will be launched for users in the US English language. Whatever voice option a user is currently using will be given a color, and the colors have been randomly selected by Google so as not to associate any one color with a certain gender or intonation.

Before the update, Google listed eight available voices as ‘Voice 1’ to ‘Voice 8’ and alternated between male and female-sounding voices as users tap through the list. The company reported that it will assign a color to each one and user can scroll through from left to right in a carousel layout. The new approach is an effort made by company to avoid pitfall of using only a female-sounding name and voice, as Amazon’s Alexa assistant and Apple’s Siri. However, as a part of update user can change the wake word and voice option for Alexa, while Apple added a male voice for Siri two years after the assistant’s initial launch.

These types of sociological reinforcements by way of technology area expected to impact thought process of user. In May 2018, Google announced feature called “pretty please’ designed to teach and reward children for politeness when engaging the Assistant via voice. The company is focused on taking a measured approach and could be willing to change that approach if it turns out not to have the desired effect. In the meantime, the most pressing question right now is what color will be assigned to John Legend’s Assistant voice.


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