Voice activated technology has taken our culture by storm. Whether it’s a virtual assistant speaker sitting in your kitchen showing you recipes, or your phone’s voice command helping you navigate your way through back roads, this technology has quickly become ingrained in our daily lives. 

In fact, 72% of people who own a voice-activated device say their devices are used as part of their daily routine. And it makes sense – many common tasks, such as checking the weather, making lists or setting calendar reminders, can now be done with a quick chat to our virtual assistant. By taking advantage of this technology, we are able to multitask more effectively, get answers almost instantly, and relax knowing we’ll be reminded of key events and activities.

Virtual assistants also add a human element to technology. People engage with them as if they are another person – saying things like “hey,” “please,” and “thank you.” They have become an integral part of consumers’ lives – even acting like a friend or extra family member to talk to and exchange information with. 

Now that they play such a monumental role in our daily lives, voice-activated virtual assistants are starting to adapt to new possibilities in the digital space. In fact, Google made a major transformation with its voice-activated technology by building the first multilingual virtual assistant. 

Adapting to Multilingual Lifestyles

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An increasing number of households in the U.S. are multilingual. In fact, more than 1 in 5 people living in the U.S. speak a language other than English at home. 

Typically, voice-activated virtual assistants could only allow for one language to be spoken at a time. This causes a fragmented virtual experience in homes with family members who communicate in multiple languages. 

This language diversity means tech giants, such as Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft have an opportunity to cater their products to a larger audience. 

Catering to New Audiences

Google was the first digital maven to achieve new technology that caters to multilingual audiences. With this new feature, consumers will be able to switch back and forth between various languages and converse with the virtual assistant in their preferred language. 

Google users can now ask questions and converse with Google Assistant and Home speakers in two of six languages, interchangeably. The new system supports English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Japanese, which leaves room for growth in the future. 

The new capability allows users to select two primary languages that they would like to converse in. The virtual assistant will then automatically detect the language every time someone speaks, then respond to it. This feature will work two-fold; not only will it help multilingual consumers feel more at-ease with their preferred language, it will boost Google in the saturated market of virtual technology. 

Building the Next Generation of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

By advancing its software, Google has taken steps towards the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI). Google’s Assistant relies on technologies such as natural language processing and machine learning to uncover what the user is saying and then make suggestions based on that language. Therefore, Google is matching the user input with the user output – ultimately building an exceptional user experience.  

By personalizing the experience for every user, Google will be able to repurpose this technology in its other product lines. If Google leverages this technology throughout its entire ecosystem of products, they’ll give consumers yet another reason to choose Google over other competitors in the space.

Reaching New Possibilities

Google’s virtual assistant has tapped into the needs of an expanding audience – bringing it one step closer to building a custom experience for every user, no matter what device they’re on. 

With its evolving technologies, Google holds its own against competitors. While Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana are all becoming fixtures in people’s homes, none of them are fit for multilingual homes yet.

By expanding its technologies and reaching new audiences, Google has positioned itself as a leader in the virtual world and as a centerpiece in more and more homes. 

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