Hey Google, read it! New Assistant feature turns long web text into audiobook


Google is previewing new features of its Assistant virtual butler software during the CES expo times, and one of these. dubbed Read it with Google Assistant, was given a special attention in a blog post today.

In addition to the instant Interpreter function that Google rolled out to Assistant not long ago, it is now giving the butler a soothing voice with which to read longform articles you may encounter here and there.

This option will effectively manage to turn any sizeable text into an audiobook, and is activated by the "Hey Google, read it!" or "Hey Google, read this page!" commands, simple as that. Coupled with the Interpreter mode, Google Assistant can now read and translate into more than 42 languages simultaneously, too. 

Previously, automated reading efforts sounded robotic and tiring to listen to, so for the new feature to take off, Google has paid special attention to the intonation, deriving from "new voice datasets to create more expressive and more natural sounding voices." 

The other new thing that may be coming to Assistant that Google announced has been a personal pet peeve of ours, namely automatic scrolling. Google promises to add this at a later date, and even highlight the text read so that it is easier to follow.

What do you think, will you be using the "Hey Google, read it!" command often if it works as it is advertised in Google's promo video above?

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