Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 23rd Feb 2018 23:48 UTC
Google

Android users are all around the world, so from the start, our goal has been to bring the Assistant to as many people, languages, and locations as possible. The Assistant is already available in eight languages, and by the end of the year it will be available in more than 30 languages, reaching 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide. In the next few months, we’ll bring the Assistant to Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai on Android phones and iPhones, and we’ll add more languages on more devices throughout the year.

We’re also making the Assistant multilingual later this year, so families or individuals that speak more than one language can speak naturally to the Assistant. With this new feature, the Assistant will be able to understand you in multiple languages fluently. If you prefer to speak German at work, but French at home, your Assistant is right there with you. Multilingual will first be available in English, French and German, with support for more languages coming over time.

This is a decent improvement, but progress on the multilingual front is still quite slow. I understand this is a hard and difficult problem to solve, but if this issue was in any way related to increasing ad revenue, Google would've cracked it 5 years ago.

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I can never use it...
by leech on Sat 24th Feb 2018 17:33 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

Maybe it's the fact that it listens to you all the time, and activates upon key words spoken, or that they don't give it a cool name. I've used Bixby a few times, but never am I going to say 'ok, google' Then again I don't use google to search things anymore either (haven't for many years), and use DDG for that purpose.

In fact if it weren't required to have a gmail account to own an Android phone, I wouldn't have one of those either...

But for the digital assistant thing, one would think making them all multi-lingual would have been a requirement from the beginning...

Reply Score: 1

RE: I can never use it...
by ahferroin7 on Mon 26th Feb 2018 14:26 in reply to "I can never use it..."
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

Personally, I think this insistence on naming voice assistants in an effort to humanize them is a bad idea. I don't want to have to say half a dozen different things walking into a random room to just get the smart switch to turn on the lights. Google at least isn't trying to sound more like it's a person you're talking to when you give it a command, but as far as I'm concerned 'OK Google' is just as bad as any of the other predefined trigger phrases out there.

The whole tech industry doesn't seem to understand why the voice interface for computers in Star Trek (which had a not insignificant influence on early designs) is such a great thing. It's not because of what it can do, it's because the interface absolutely consistent. Even ignoring the universal translator being involved, the trigger phrase translates trivially across all languages and is the same regardless of who made the system.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can never use it...
by avgalen on Tue 27th Feb 2018 09:16 in reply to "RE: I can never use it..."
avgalen Member since:
2010-09-23

It's not because of what it can do
I would argue that it is ;)

it's because the interface absolutely consistent. Even ignoring the universal translator being involved, the trigger phrase translates trivially across all languages and is the same regardless of who made the system.

Are you sure that there are multiple, simultaneously active, manufacturers of the star trek interface? Because it looks like a big monopoly to me.

The thing that the current voice interfaces lack is voice-recognition. My wife and I cannot say "read my my email" and receive our personal emails. And we cannot block our childrens voices from "play Cars/Frozen on the tv on infinite loop"

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: I can never use it...
by zima on Tue 27th Feb 2018 18:37 in reply to "RE: I can never use it..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, but let's not forget that the voice interface in Star Trek is primarily about making actors... act; to be entertaining to the audiences...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: I can never use it...
by zima on Tue 27th Feb 2018 18:36 in reply to "I can never use it..."
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

In fact if it weren't required to have a gmail account to own an Android phone, I wouldn't have one of those either...

Hm, my father doesn't have any email account, anywhere (that I know of...), and he uses an Android phone...

Reply Parent Score: 2