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Google Assistant can now speak with an Australian or English accent

DeepMind is helping to make it happen.
AJ Dellinger, @ajdell
December 13, 2018
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Chris Velazco/Engadget

Google Assistant hasn't been traveling, but it has picked up some new accents. The voice assistant now has the ability to speak in an Australian or English accent (though Google calls it British). The feature is available across all devices including Android phones and Google Home speakers, but only for English speakers in the US for the time being.

In order to produce the accents in an accurate way, Google is tapping into the artificial intelligence of DeepMind. Google Assistant uses WaveNet, the AI company's speech synthesis model powered by deep neural networks, to generate natural sounding voices. Google previously used the model to make text-to-voice services sound more realistic.

To activate Google Assistant's new accents, open the Settings app on your phone and tab on the Assistant tab. Select "Assistant voice" and you'll see the accents available to you. The Australian voice is called Sydney Harbour Blue, while the English voice is labeled British Racing Green.

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