Google Assistant is getting a second celebrity voice option on both Android and iOS

Google Assistant is getting a second celebrity voice option on both Android and iOS
There's a lot to love about Google Assistant, which has been repeatedly crowned the best service of its kind by various market research firms after analyzing its accuracy and wealth of information, but while celebrity voices might not be among the AI's top five killer features, they're certainly a cool thing to have access to.

Following in John Legend's footsteps, Issa Rae is only the second ever famous person to lend her voice to the world's most popular virtual assistant. Available starting today in English and the US only for a "limited time", the option to make your Google Assistant "extra fly" on Android handsets and iPhones, as well as compatible smart displays and smart speakers, is extremely easy to enable.


All you need to do is say "Hey Google, talk like Issa", and the switch will be made seamlessly... for answers to a limited set of specific questions. You can ask "Issa" to help you out with the daily weather forecast or have "her" tell you a secret, a joke, as well as boost your morale with a pep talk or inspirational quote. These are all things the actress, writer, director, producer, and web series creator herself recorded, unlike answers provided in John Legend's voice, which are generated by a state-of-the-art speech synthesis model called WaveNet.

That's bound to make this new option sound a lot more natural, but on the not so bright side of things, the bulk of your commands will be answered by Google Assistant in one of its "original" voices even if you ask the AI to "talk like Issa." 

Still, if you're a fan of the hit HBO show "Insecure", this is definitely something that will put a smile on your face. Besides, at least Google is not looking to make a quick buck on these celebrity voices, unlike Amazon, which plans to charge 99 cents for an Alexa update bringing Samuel L. Jackson's famous style of speaking to the world's second most popular digital assistant.

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3 Comments

2. bigstrudel

Posts: 605; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

These assistants just creep me out and I turn every single one of them off every time. Takes me less time to type than talk anyways: doesn't speed anything up whatsoever other than be a novelty feature.

4. sgodsell

Posts: 7430; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

How wrong you are. First of all it's easier to just talk to GA. Not that typing in is bad or anything. Plus GA can use your previously asked requests for context. So you can talk to GA like you were talking to someone that is typing in for you. This is Google Assistant we are talking about. Not that stupid Assistant called Siri.

3. magnaroader

Posts: 40; Member since: Feb 25, 2016

Still waiting for an Arnold Schwarzenegger voiced AI on my phone. I'll gladly pay 5 bucks for it.

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