Voice assistant can make an appointment call like a real person. How did Google do it?

category:Internet
 Voice assistant can make an appointment call like a real person. How did Google do it?


NetEase news on May 9th news, according to foreign media reports, in 2018 Google developer conference in 2018, Google released the upgraded version of the digital assistant GoogleAssistant. Google says Assistants continuous dialogue feature makes dialogue more natural, and multiple action allows users to ask multiple questions in a conversation. In addition, the PrettyPlease function can make users wording more polite and standard. Before the conference, CNET visited mountain view, exploring the Duplex technology behind Google Assistant and other AI. At first the conversation didnt look like two. In the Google Park of mountain view, California, the author was invited to listen to a telephone recording of a reservation dinner, only in 51 seconds. First person: Good evening. Second people: how are you? The first person: Hello. The second person: Hi, uh, Id like to reserve a table for Friday, three. Second people: well. The first person: good... Just a moment, please. Second people: well. The first person: so the time is Friday, November 3rd. How many people? Second people: to... Two people. The first person: two people? Second people: Yes. When I heard a dialogue between a man and a woman, executives of Googles digital assistant business were watching my reaction closely. Google is at GoogleI/O Developer Conference on Tuesday 2018. Now they are demonstrating the new functions of Google assistant. It turns out that this special demonstration is crazy. Thats because second people who sound like a man are not at all a single person. This is the Google digital assistant Assistant. And pronunciation does not sound like the kind of semi robot voice that is usually heard from Google family smart speakers. When the digital assistant provides you with the latest information about the weather or how long it takes to tell you to get to the workplace, its usually a lifeless electronic voice. As a competitor of Amazon Alexa, apple Siri and Microsoft Cortana, this may be the next evolution of Google digital assistant Assistant. It sounds obvious - even weird - only human beings will pause before answering questions and use words like uh and uh. It says Hmmm, as if at the nod of consent; it lengthens the pronunciation of some words, as if it is taking time to think about an answer to a question, of course its response is realized immediately by the programming algorithm. (illustration: at the Google developer conference in 2016, Google CEO Pichai said before introducing the Google digital assistant Assistant, think of it as your own Google.) Behind it is what Google calls Duplex technology, developed by Google engineers and product designers in New York, Tel Aviv and mountain view, which sounds like the future of voice aides. This demonstration is part of Googles plan to launch the experiment this summer. Through Duplex technology, a small number of people can complete booking activities such as restaurant, holiday time and so on. All these interactions happen at the back end -- between Google digital assistant Assistant and restaurants. You dont even hear the conversation. It will come from an unspecified telephone number without using the users own number. Google is careful about the scale of deploying Duplex technology, but says it will be limited. The company emphasizes that not all users who use Google digital assistant Assistant can experience Duplex technology. Nick Fox, vice president of Google assistant and search product design, and Jussi Mathias, vice president of Google engineering, all said that because Duplex was a new technology, the search giant wanted to act cautiously. Google will not say that it aims to bring this naturally sound assistant into more products in the future - for example, to hear its pronunciation from an intelligent speaker GoogleHome. (Figure): Google has been expanding its smart home product line. The high-end audio HomeMax with digital assistant Assistant is priced at US $400. The following is the working principle of the booking function: suppose you want to make an appointment for a haircut. Just ask Google assistant Assistant via GoogleHome, or send information from Android cell phone or iPhone application to tell where to go. If you want to eat something at noon on Sunday, Assistant will ask you if you have any alternative, in case time is not enough - it is clear that the time range between noon and 2 p.m. is more suitable. If users had used automatic online booking services such as OpenTable, Assistant would use the system to make an appointment by default. But if you dont make automatic reservations in this way - and many small businesses will not do so - Google assistant Assistant will call you. After the booking is successful, Assistant will confirm the trip with you and add it to the calendar. In another conversation, I heard two women talking about making an appointment for haircut. One of them is Google assistant Assistant, which uses Duplex technology. She sounds like a real human. She even evaded questions and raised the intonation at the end of the sentence, which could even annoy some people. What we think of it is, what is perfect assistant? Fawkes, who has been working at Google for 15 years, said, when I want an assistant, its there and is ready to help. I dont worry, my assistant cant do it. My assistant can do anything I want to do. Most of the time, Fawkes is engaged in search advertising business in Google, and is currently responsible for the product of Googles landmark project. Google has released digital assistant Assistant at the developer conference GoogleI/O in 2016, two years ago. At that time, Google CEO Sundar Pichai (SundarPichai) explained his vision: Assistant is the essence of Google. The goal of Pichai and his team is to get Googles artificial intelligence to work with users for a days work: with the help of Assistant, users can get morning news from the smart speaker GoogleHome, learn the name of the species by pointing the camera to the flower, open the thermostat in the room before returning home, and so on. But if Googles experiment becomes a reality, Assistant will really become the users digital assistant. Imagine it as your own Google, Pichai pointed out two years ago. (Graphic: Nick Fox, vice president of Google assistant and search product design, said, we dont want to force people to accept, the digital assistant sounds like this.) At the same time, Google is trying to win more users with the updated Assistant. In addition to a male pronunciations and female pronunciations, the assistant can also speak in six new voices. Google also enables users to make follow-up questions more easily and automatically send some expected arrival time to some people while driving and using Google maps. Human feeling Of course, Google is not the first company to enter the digital assistant market. Amazon released its Echo intelligent loudspeaker in 2014, while providing voice functions with Alexa software, which is shocking. For the time being, smart speakers are still the most common way to interact with digital assistants, and Amazon has a 69% market share in the US market. According to data from research firm CIRP, GoogleHome released in 2016 has a 31% market share. Google and Amazon are strengthening their product lines. Last year, Google launched a $40 home mini audio HomeMini and a $400 home high-end audio HomeMax. By comparison, Amazon now has 10 Echo products ranging from $40 to $230. In February, apple joined the battle with the $350 HomePod. But when digital assistants connect with the Internet of things devices, they can make more money when they control everything from car control, washing machines to electric lights. According to Gartner, a market research firm, by 2020, people will spend $1 trillion on IOT equipment. Thats why Google has been trying to catch up. Today, the company announced that it has sent 500 million devices to the world with digital assistant Assistant, including speakers, telephones and televisions. Google also said that Assistant supports up to 30 languages and will support the language of 80 countries by the end of this year, including 7 new countries, Denmark, South Korea, Mexico, Holland, Norway, Spain and Sweden. Similarly, Amazons Echo can be used in more than 80 countries. (illustration: Jussi Mathias, vice president of Google engineering, YossiMatias, said, Google has been working on the research of natural voice technology for many years. Google said last week that the number of home internet devices compatible with Google assistant Assistant has increased from 1500 in January to 5000 now. This is a huge improvement for Google, but not half as compatible with Alexa devices. There are currently 12000 devices in the world that support Amazon Alexa. Googles Fawkes has been trying to play down the competition with Amazon. We rarely see it in a competitive way, Fawkes said. The bigger opportunities are those who havent used anything. Nevertheless, the two technology giants are not afraid of hard hitting, and they sell each other for the sale of smart home devices. In January this year, Google cut off Amazons Echo and FireTV access to YouTube. Amazons e-commerce platform will not sell Google and some gadgets produced by its smart home manufacturer Nest. We dont know all the answers. Mathias, head of Tel Aviv Google research and development center, said Google has been committed to developing new natural voice technology for many years. The company says it is not a generic artificial intelligence technology that applies to various telephone tasks, instead it is tailored to a specific task, such as an appointment. Mathias readily admits that the technology is not perfect, and Google is acting cautiously, because more human - based artificial intelligence will bring more thorny problems. For example, what if software starts to talk nonsense? Mathias told me that technology is not completely out of control. He said that when the function was released, the software might tell people at the other end to have a conversation with the digital assistant. Of course, Assistant did not do so in the recording I heard. Mathias said: we need to think carefully about how to interact in experiments. We believe that transparency is the right thing to do. If the conversation is indeed wrong, the software will be returned to what he calls real-time supervision training. In this case, the software will transfer the right of conversation to the person to complete the call. Since dialogue is usually not monitored by people, they must start from scratch. Google is not sure whether the person will record what has been discussed in the previous call. When asked about these questions, Fawkes admitted that Google staff were thinking about these things. We need to set the right expectations for everyone, he said. These are all the problems of technology. I would say that we dont know all the answers completely, and we need to deepen our understanding in the light of what we see in the real world. PaulSaffo, a Silicon Valley futurist who works at Stanford University, has his own opinion on this situation. (Paul Shaffer) He said that any creator of AI is obliged to disclose to anyone who interacts with them that they are talking to the machine. But with the increasing application of this technology, he thinks people will begin to realize the telling in conversation with robots. With the development of our machines, people want to know from the beginning whether they are talking to robots, he said. Assistants are ubiquitous Although Duplex technology is still an experiment, Googles digital assistant Assistant has been developing, and some new functions will be launched immediately. It includes more pronunciation. Assistant has six new male and female American pronunciations. A womans voice is softly and soothing. A new mans voice is a little low. My wife hates the voice, she said, take it away from my room, Fawkes said. He was playing a male voice like a host. The technology called WaveNet enables the extension library of voice, which greatly shortens the time and audio samples of recording each voice by the recorder. These pronunciations are not marked with specific names. Instead, each is specified in one color, such as red, orange or green. You can choose the desired one by sliding the phone settings. When you connect to GoogleHome, you only need to choose your favorite voice settings, the loudspeaker will recognize your voice and reply with the selected assistant voice. Google also quipped that it will also give the voice of singer John Laikin (JohnLegend) to Assistan. Like most updates, the idea is to make the assistant more personalized. We dont want to force people to accept it. a digital assistant sounds like it should be, Fawkes said. Another update that will be released this summer is the speech mode called PrettyPlease, which requires you to be polite when you order from an assistant. The goal of this model is to encourage children to say please and thank you to make their children more polite. The same is true for adults, of course. Amazon released a similar function last month to design a new generation of EchoDot speakers for children. Alexas child friendly version provides positive reinforcement. For a child who says please, Alexa will respond to thank you for your greeting. When Amazon released this feature, Google said it had been studying PrettyPlease for some time. All of these are new things, said Lillian Raymond (LilianRincon), director of Assistants product management. Its not surprising that we are all trying to solve these problems. There are many other new things: you can now ask two questions at a time, and Assistant will make a continuous answer. (for example: what is the name of Kendricks latest album? You can also ask follow-up questions without repeating Hi Google or repeat your questions. Before the end of the conversation, the microphone will remain activated for 8 seconds. Before that, the microphone suspended the pick up after the user asked questions. During driving, Assistant can send a scheduled arrival time to someone when you use Google map to navigate. When you visit Assistant on your cell phone, it displays more visual content, such as alerts about recent flight information and to-do lists. You can also set up a custom routine to trigger a set of operations immediately after closing the alarm in the morning. This means that you can automatically start morning news, traffic updates and favorite songs. All of this is very useful. But it also means that Google intelligent assistants will have a better understanding of users. This is worth discussing, because user privacy is the main topic of discussion in the field of technology. Since Facebook began a scandal with the Cambridge analysis company (CambridgeAnalytica) in March, the method of data collection for Silicon Valley technology companies has been reviewed in a few weeks. A digital consulting company can get personal information from as many as 87 million Facebook users in a completely uninformed case, a scandal that has triggered a debate about how technology giants protect user data and how to make money. In most cases, Google, Facebook and other companies rely on their personal information about what they like, what they dont like, shopping preferences, lifestyle, and so on, so that marketers can put in specific ads. Googles advertising sales last year reached $95 billion 400 million, while Facebooks advertising sales reached $40 billion. Our principle has always been to allow users to control this information, Fawkes said. Its very important to emphasize this in the past few weeks, but we always know its important, and its good for us. He said that Assistant queries are handled in exactly the same way as regular search queries, and have the same user settings. This means that users can clear search records, but this may affect the advertisements they see. All of this is the real reason for our discussion of Assistant. As Pichai mentioned in 2016, this is the next development of Google search. People spend less time on desktop computers and more time on mobile phones and smart speakers, as well as Internet devices such as cars. When Fawkes was asked if he thought Assistant was now Googles most important project, he paused for 13 seconds. Assistant is an important business of Google, Fawkes said. Doing the right thing is really important. (Han Bing) source: NetEase science and technology report editor: Wang Fengzhi _NT2541 He said that Assistant queries are handled in exactly the same way as regular search queries, and have the same user settings. This means that users can clear search records, but this may affect the advertisements they see. All of this is the real reason for our discussion of Assistant. As Pichai mentioned in 2016, this is the next development of Google search. People spend less time on desktop computers and more time on mobile phones and smart speakers, as well as Internet devices such as cars. When Fawkes was asked if he thought Assistant was now Googles most important project, he paused for 13 seconds. Assistant is an important business of Google, Fawkes said. Doing the right thing is really important. (Han ice)