Google is developing a more robust 'personality' for its AI assistant

Last year, Google set out to make its AI assistant stand out from the rest by giving it a more well-rounded personality, that was supposed to help users engage with it in a more entertaining and compassionate way. The company was even considering a childhood backstory for the assistant, although this idea never came to fruition. It seems, however, that Google hasn't forgotten its initial plans and is still working on making this vision a reality. At least partially.

To help shape the personality of Assistant, Google hired former Pixar storyboard artist Emma Coats, whose portfolio of works includes Brave and Monsters University, among other features. Unfortunately, whatever personality was planned for Google Assistant to begin with, all semblance of it was lost somewhere along the way to its release, likely because it wasn't fleshed out enough to be implemented into the final product.

"The Assistant gives a conversational way to access everything Google can do for you, and on the Personality Team we add delight wherever we can," Coats said in a recent interview with the BBC. "The rest of Google has all the useful parts of the Assistant covered, so the Google Assistant Personality Team really supports them by coming up with fun things the Assistant can say and do, whether that's games or things to discover."

It isn't clear from this statement alone whether Google has dropped the idea of introducing a backstory to Assistant, but it indicates that the company is still actively developing a more robust personality for the AI helper. With the feature's wider roll-out to non-Pixel devices, new content and updates are bound to hit Google Assistant in the coming months.

In the meantime, check out this 2016 interview with "Nat & Lo", the ladies who are lending their soothing voices to Google Assistant:

source: BBC



1. TerryTerius unregistered

Huh. It never occurred to me that anyone would try and give a voice assistant some sort of history like that. Even if that doesn't really change anything functionality wise, it's certainly novel.

3. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Meh, its one of those things that look novel on paper but will be crap/non practicable in reality sort of like bixby, sense touch, dex, dual cameras, s-pen, siri, mods, etc. The last novel features i've seeing in the smartphone landscape has being stereo speakers (htc), waterproofing (sony), fingerprint sensor (apple), electronic stabilization tied with the gyroscope (pixel), IR (htc/samsung) and thats pretty much it..

4. Subie

Posts: 2395; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

What may be "crap/non practical" to you could actually be novel to the next person. And vice versa, some of what you listed as novel may be irrelevant to others as well.

2. Bankz

Posts: 2550; Member since: Apr 08, 2016

Meh.. It'll probably be just a lil different than before. Until i can have a low voice non robotic conversation about everything with my assistance, then these useless ai's will remain glorified voice actions in my eyes. These companies should put these stupid AI's under accesibilities for the impaired imo until they can come up with something truly groundbreaking or practicable.

5. jacksmith21006

Posts: 68; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

Started asking Google Home (GH) something and said "I forgot" and she's saids "no worries happens to me all the time". But then another time I say "nevermind" and she saids "yes, let's move forward". It is amazing and assume it learned how to do this by Google crawling the web all these years for their search engine. There is already some personality in the GH. What gets me the most is the voice inflection. We had the Echo since it launched 2 years ago and does not have similar. Now a good or bad thing is up to you. To me I like it. The GH often times cracks me up.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.