Google's Assistant is adding a bit of international flair to its repertoire. Well, if you count a couple of new English-language accents as "international flair" that is. And we sure as heck do.
Amazon's Alexa has a bunch of accents already, as does Apple's Siri, so it was about time the Big G added some more flavors to the digital pot. The search giant will tell you it was worth the wait, though, with the new voices built using DeepMind‚Äôs speech synthesis model WaveNet, tapping into deep neural networks in order to create raw audio waveforms, which we're told means more realistic and natural voices.
Google previously used the WaveNet tech to add six new voices (all American accents) earlier this year.
Here's how to get the new accents:
- On your Android phone, go to Settings and choose the Assistant tab. On an iPhone, you'll need to open the Assistant app, click your photo in the top corner and then choose the Assistant tab.
- Tap on 'Assistant voice' and choose the one you want.
- The British accent is labelled 'British Racing Green' (wtf, right?) and the Australian voice is called 'Sydney Harbour Blue' (makes more sense).
- That's it, you're done - the new accent will be used on your Android phone, as well as all devices listed in the 'Assistant devices' list on that tab you've had open - for example, Google Home speakers, Android TVs, Nest Cams and wherever else you have the Google Assistant living in your house.
The strange thing is that neither Brits nor Australians will be able to get tuned into their native tongues - for now, the new feature is for English speakers in the US. We'll update this guide if that changes.