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Google Introduces New Ways to Interact More Naturally With Assistant

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During its annual I/O 2022 developer conference today, Google has introduced new ways to interact with Google Assistant more naturally, saying it will make you feel “just as if you were talking to a friend.”

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The first new feature, Look and Talk, is rolling out today in the U.S. on Nest Hub Max. Once you opt-in, you can simply look at the screen and ask for what you need.

“From the beginning, we’ve built Look and Talk with your privacy in mind. It’s designed to activate when you opt-in and both Face Match and Voice Match recognize it’s you,” says Google.

Let’s say you need to fix your leaky kitchen sink. As you walk into the room, you can just look at your Nest Hub Max and say “Show plumbers near me” — without having to say “Hey Google” first.

Google is also expanding quick phrases to Nest Hub Max, which let you skip saying “Hey Google” for some of your most common daily tasks. So as soon as you walk through the door, you can just say “Turn on the hallway lights” or “Set a timer for 10 minutes.”

In everyday conversation, we all naturally say “um,” correct ourselves and pause occasionally to find the right words.

To make this happen, we’re building new, more powerful speech and language models that can understand the nuances of human speech — like when someone is pausing, but not finished speaking.

Google says the Assistant will soon be able to better understand the imperfections of human speech, including the pauses, “umms,” and interruptions for more natural conversations.

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