Singer John Legend will be one of six new voices for Google’s smart assistant


Google will unroll six new voices for its Google Assistant, including that of entertainer John Legend.

The voices will be both male and female, and will be made more natural with a technology called Wavenet, which Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence team announced 18 months ago.

“Wavenet models underlying raw audio to create a more natural voice, its closer to how humans speak. The pitch, the pace, even all the pauses that convey meaning — you want to get all that right,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said during his keynote speech on Tuesday at the company’s annual I/O developer conference.

The first voices will be released immediately, with John Legend’s voice coming later this year.

Following the announcement, Chrissy Teigen, Legend’s model wife, tweeted the news.

“I don’t even need human John anymore,” she joked on the social media platform.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai spoke at the company’s annual I/O developer conference. Watch the live stream of Pichai’s keynote here.

The three-day I/O event is typically an opportunity for Google to show off its artificial intelligence tools and announce upcoming products, like the latest version of its Android operating system.

This year the conference comes amid broader policy discussions, as Google prepares to roll out privacy changes in compliance with stricter GDPR standards out of Europe.


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