Google builds more privacy and speech tech into Google Assistant

Google Assistant is better at helping people protect and manage their privacy, and it can now read you a bedtime story.

Google builds more privacy and speech tech into Google Assistant
Google Assistant is set to offer more privacy tools and improved speech tech. The news joins a range of small updates Google revealed for Assistant at CES 2020 that make for a more refined personal, voice-guided helper. Privacy for plebes Google wants people to know that Google Assistant is not spying on them. Though Assistant is always listening, that doesn’t mean it’s also always recording. As Google explains, Assistant is waiting in standby mode until it hears the “Hey Google” or “OK Google” catchphrase. Google reiterated that by default it does not record your voice-based queries, nor does it send them to Google for further analysis. There are already some voice commands that help people manage their privacy through Assistant. For example, asking questions such as “Hey Google, where can I change my privacy settings” will deliver answers concerning users’ basic privacy needs. Moreover, Google has made it dead simple to delete your Assistant activity simply by asking it to. See also: Hackers use lasers to control smart speakers The latest features announced at CES 2020 are two new voice actions that simplify things further. For example, saying “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” causes Assistant to delete any speech that people don’t want Google holding onto. Last, asking “Hey Google, are you saving my audio recordings?” will launch a series of guided tutorials that will help people learn about and manage their privacy preferences — something Amazon recently did after it was caught recording people and sending them where Amazon Echo owners surely didn’t intend for them to go. A better reading companion Google is also previewing a way for people to use Assistant to read long-form content, such as news articles and even stories. According to Google, it is following a non-traditional path by relying on new voice datasets. These allow it to generate “more expressive and more natural” voices when reading out loud. This is particularly important when reading extended passages. After all, no one wants to listen to a robot drone on. Simply say “Hey Google, read it” or “Hey Google, read this page” and Google Assistant will do its thing. Assistant is able to translate content into some 42 languages, which means many people around the world will be able to take this tech for a spin. Last, Google Assistant should be a better travel pal. Businesses can now take advantage of interpreter mode to have Assistant translate text between two people who don’t use the same tongue. More posts about Assistant Google Assistant now has over 500 million monthly active users Jimmy Westenberg 2 mins ago These two features will make smart displays even more useful for households David Imel 2 mins ago Apple, Amazon, Google team up to make smart homes suck less Hadlee Simons 3 weeks ago Google Assistant can now control Chrome on Pixel 4. Here’s how to enable it. Hadlee Simons 3 weeks ago Lost in translation? Your Android phone can now be your real-time interpreter Adamya Sharma 4 weeks ago Google reveals Ambient Mode in action, supported devices Hadlee Simons 1 month ago G Suite gets Assistant integration: Calendar management, smart compose, and more Phillip Prado 2 months ago Can’t be there for kids? Google Nest now lets you record bedtime stories Hadlee Simons 2 months ago Google unleashes Duplex for the web, lets you buy movie tickets with your voice C. Scott Brown 2 months ago Cortana quits Android, and more tech you need to know today Tristan Rayner 2 months ago