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Google Assistant Gets Its First Celebrity Voice Cameo, in the Form of John Legend

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Google Assistant Gets Its First Celebrity Voice Cameo, in the Form of John Legend

Photo Credit: YouTube/ Google

Highlights
  • Legend will answer your queries, play music, even sing "Happy Birthday"
  • To activate his voice, simply say, "Hey, Google, talk like a Legend"
  • The feature is currently available in English in the US

Google Assistant has launched its first-ever celebrity voice cameo, in none other than the voice of Grammy award winning artist John Legend.

As The Verge reports, the legendary artist will answer your weather queries, play music, even sing "Happy Birthday" to you, albeit for a limited time.

John Legend's is one of the six new voices due to arrive for Google's smart digital assistant, which is at the core of multiple IoT gadgets. Using Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence, WaveNet works by sampling human speech and directly modelling audio waveforms from it to create realistic-sounding voices.

To activate the Grammy-winning artist's voice, simply say, "Hey, Google, talk like a Legend", or manually head to the Settings to switch to his voice. The feature is currently available in English in the US.


As readers probably recall, the new Google Assistant voices powered by Google WaveNet were announced at Google I/O 2018, with the first of the celebrity voices - John Legend - scheduled to arrive last year itself. Google has evidently taken a bit longer than it promised. Notably, Legends' voice will only be used in "certain contexts" and not all.

Separately, Google this week confirmed it is rolling out Google Duplex - the Google Assistant based robot calling service - to devices other than Pixel. It is now available on all iPhone models with Google Assistant installed, as well as select Android smartphones. Unfortunately, the service is only available in the US for now.

Written with inputs from ANI

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