If a family speaks multiple languages at home, a new bilingual feature from Google Assistant can help. Google has officially made its AI voice assistant bilingual, allowing users to choose pair languages from English, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Japanese.
The search giant promised more languages will be included in the bilingual feature soon. The company said last year it will let Google Assistant speak more than 30 languages by the end of this year.
Google Assistant’s multi-language capability is not something new, but it wasn’t able to switch simultaneously. If the language setting in the Google Assistant app was set to English, the assistant would not be able to respond in Spanish.
Now users can choose two languages in the setting and the assistant can answer questions in both languages. A Spanish-speaking family living in the U.S., for example, can set up their Google Assistant to speak Spanish and English.
Google Assistant’s competitors, such as Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, can speak multiple languages but aren’t able to switch languages simultaneously.
Google spent multiple years to develop this bilingual feature for all users, the company claimed. The system will need to not only identify multiple languages, but also understand users’ conversational questions before providing right answers in the correct language, all within a few seconds.
The search giant said its language identification model is now able to distinguish between 2,000 language pairs. It hopes to launch tri-lingual and even better multilingual features in the future.
The bilingual feature is available smart speaker Google Home or Android smartphones’ voice assistant. Google Smart Display, a new platform combing Google Assistant and a screen, still understands only English.