Google’s Assistant can now differentiate between two languages commonly used in a household, and respond in kind. You no longer have to go into the Assistant’s Settings to choose which language you want to use, Google says today in a blog post.
The Assistant can understand any pair of the following: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese. The company says it’ll be adding new languages in the coming months. It’s also working on trilingual support and multilingual support, but it says far more households are bilingual–English and Spanish, for example.
The company points out in a technical blog that in order for bilingual to work, the Assistant has to, in essence, do double the work it normally does for monolingual use. It runs two separate monolingual speech recognition systems simultaneously, so that it’s always ready to interpret and act upon user commands in milliseconds, regardless of language.
We sometimes associate natural language AI assistants like Assistant with smart speakers, but this association is probably temporary. The Assistant is already available in a growing number of phones, and in an array of connected home devices. Last month Lenovo launched a line of Assistant-powered monitors. Today Google said a couple more smart displays with its Assistant inside are coming in the next few weeks–JBL’s Link View and LG’s XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9.
Finally, Google said its (impressive) Google Home Max smart speaker launches in the U.K., France, and Germany today.