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Entries in Google Assistant (82)


Google Pixel 4’s ‘Raise to talk’ feature for Assistant could come to Canada ‘soon’

With the improvements being brought to Google Assistant, one of the new features Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL users can expect is a “Raise to talk” feature. It’s designed to activate Assistant in a more intuitive, fluid way. Basically, you could just lift the phone and immediately ask Assistant a question or issue a command. As long as the command or question is said directly after raising the device, Assistant will acknowledge it. Otherwise, the virtual assistant will ignore it.

It might raise some concerns about the lack of hotword activation and how it could just take in everything that’s being said. But with the new Google Assistant, speech recognition will be handled entirely on the device. The company shrunk its voice recognition and comprehension model from 100GB to just 0.5GB so that it can run on phones. This also allows you to issue back-to-back commands or questions without almost any latency.

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Microsoft Xbox One now supports Google Assistant

Google Assistant joins Amazon Alexa in the list of virtual assistants that can be used with the Microsoft Xbox One. You can use Google Assistant to turn your console on and off remotely, launch games, play or pause videos, and more. It's currently available in beta to all English Xbox One users.

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You can apply for a job with McDonald's using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa

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Here's one more thing you can do with your virtual assistant: try and get a job at McDonald's. McDonald's Canada will let you use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to start applying for a job at the company. You just need to say the hotword "Alexa" or "Hey Google" and then add "help me get a job at McDonald's." The virtual assistant will then ask you a series of short questions about your location and the ideal position you want to apply for. You will then be sent a link via text to proceed with the application process. This feature is accessible on Amazon and Google smart devices as well as through the respective apps on your phone. The voice-initiated process is available in both English and French.

Source: MobileSyrup


Google promises better privacy protection for Assistant

Google faced significant backlash earlier in the year when it was discovered that human workers listened to audio recordings from Google Assistant users. According to the company, the practice helped improve speech technology. But users weren't convinced with the argument, especially with reports that it could capture personal conversations as well. Google wants to convince the public that it has put in place privacy-related improvements for its virtual assistant.

The company emphasized that it isn't retaining audio recordings by default. Users are asked to opt in to the Voice and Audio Activity (VAA) program when first setting up Assistant. And now existing Assistant users can review this VAA setting. Google said the human review process will resume after you confirm your preference. Google said in its blog post, "We won't include your audio in the human review process unless you've re-confirmed your VAA setting as on."

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