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article imageGoogle Assistant will soon speak 30 languages

By James Walker     Feb 23, 2018 in Technology
The availability of Google Assistant will be expanded this year with support for 30 languages and multi-lingual input. Google announced the AI changes ahead of Mobile World Congress next week, claiming it wants Assistant to work "better for you."
Global Assistant
Digital assistance may be off to a slow start but this isn't stopping Google from continually working on new Assistant features. Its latest reveal will help Assistant to get established by bringing it to millions more users around the world. Google said that the 30 languages supported by the end of the year will cover 95 percent of Android phones that support the Assistant app.
Initially, Google will rollout Assistant in Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish and Thai. These languages will be supported everywhere the Assistant is, including on both Android and iOS. Additional languages will be added later in the year.
Google's also making it easier to switch between languages while using Assistant. It's preparing to turn on multilingual input, so the Assistant can interpret your speech in several languages simultaneously. This is ideal for people who regularly switch languages depending on their location, culture or family connections. At launch, multilingual input will be available in English, French and German, with more options arriving later on.
Device switching
In another update, Google will improve the way in which Assistant works across devices. In an attempt to reduce the friction of voice control interfaces, it will increase Assistant's feature parity across different hardware categories.
The changes include extended support for location-based reminders and the launch of Routines. The latter feature lets you chain several actions into a single voice command, making Assistant more useful. This kind of functionality is already supported by Amazon's Alexa.
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The updates will help Google to grow Assistant and keep users engaged. At its launch, the AI supported only English. This has now been expanded to eight languages but still lags behind rivals such as Siri, which already provides 20 different options. Assistant's global expansion will allow Google to progress its plan to make the AI available everywhere its users are.
"Android users are all around the world, so from the start, our goal has been to bring the Assistant to as many people, languages and locations as possible," said Google. "The Assistant is already available in eight languages, and by the end of the year it will be available in more than 30 languages, reaching 95 percent of all eligible Android phones worldwide."
Google plans to demonstrate more new Assistant integrations at Mobile World Congress next week. These include collaborations with mobile networks that will let you ask the Assistant details about your current plan. It's also working with hardware manufacturers to add better support for new on-device AI chips.
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