Google Assistant Says No “Hey Google” And “Ok Google” Follow-Ups

Google I/O had promised this year to make the Assistant conversational feature available for the US people by using Google Home Speaker and this company kept its promise. Yes, you no more have to call out your Google Assistant by name and every time you are willing to place a command. Basically, you will be having an option where you can enable the feature by saying “Hey Google” and “Ok Google” for follow-ups. Even if you have multiple requests, it doesn’t really matter.

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No More Saying “Hey Google” Or “Ok Google”

Let’s say you are asking your Google Assistant if it is going to rain today before you start the conversation from scratch, you can remind yourself to carry an umbrella outside. In that case, all you have to do is, keep your Google Assistant inactive for a few seconds. Within the timeframe, if you speak assistant will automatically be active thinking that you are still talking. Just make sure that the LED’s of the home speakers are lit till the time it’s listening to your voice. Because all it requires is the voice input.

The good news is, your assistant can now order food as well. The relative partners are Panera, Domino’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more. In case you are a regular customer of these brands ordering food from your phone, you can do the same thing with your Google Assistant. Looks like Google has taken not only one, but many steps forward in order to make your work much more easier.

In order to have a normal conversation with your Google Assistant, all you need to take care of is the timing when you’re speaking and only then it can reply to multiple questions at the same time. Therefore, with continued conversation, you can actually talk to your Google Assistant.

And the best part is, now you don’t have to go on with a “Hey Google” and “Ok Google” before and after a conversation. You can simply skip that part. Only remember that while ending the conversation, you have to say “thank you” or “stop” and the Google assistant will automatically Stop registering that you are not talking anymore.

Wondering how to enable this feature on your Assistant?

In order to enable this feature, you just have to go to the settings and choose Continued Conversation from preferences and hit the toggle. Now you will be able to start a conversation with your Assistant without saying Hey and Ok.

At Google I/O conference in 2018, the company officially launched Android P operating system for its users. In this new version of an Android Operating System, Google is focusing on the AI and machine learning. On the other hand, the search giant has come up with such exclusive features as App Actions, Adaptive brightness, and battery.

Till now this feature can only be enabled in the English language. It is not known yet when the other languages will be available on Assistant. But the people who are tired of saying “Hey Google” and “Ok Google”, are definitely welcome here.

AI Makes Language Transition Easier

Companies in different countries have different cultural ethics and work language. This dramatically gives rise to the need for a language transition service. It is indeed a challenge to create a smooth transition from one language to another.

There were days when human translators were the foremost and only choice. Linguists and Multilingual were a critical lynchpin for success. However, it also carried a great chance of inefficiency with translation errors.

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The First Wave Of Machine Translation

When it comes to AI translations, Google Translate has taken the first position. It has been the leader of translation technology since its launch.

It works with more than 100 languages and is used by over half a billion people on a daily basis. The process used by Google Translate was a form of machine learning until recently.

For those who are clueless about machine learning, it is a branch of artificial intelligence that uses a huge amount of data for understanding and creating the language translation.

But it has a downside.

The results of Google translate are too literal. It was essentially using the dictionary to determine the choice of words.

This software won’t address the context and cultural differences. Therefore, the need and dependency on human translator still existed.

Neural Machine Translation

The new machine translation technology called neural machine translation took the language translation miles forward. The Neural component of the technology is named because it works just like a human mind.

To be more accurate, it mimics the human brain!

This technology can do translation like none has ever done before. It does what Google translate couldn’t. Looking forward to 20 years from now, I see the need for a human translator being reduced. From Gisting To Fluency

Gisting and fluency- both are vital elements of translation. Previous technologies were only gist-oriented. And so, they required a greater amount of human support to take a usable shape.

Neural machine technology goes beyond gisting and fluency. For correct interpretation and delivering fluent translation, it needs the very efficient set of the algorithm.

Every second terabyte of data runs around the globe. And a lot of information is needed to be translated into two or more languages. This makes automated translation very critical.

Breaking The Language Barrier

Language barriers are one of the major constraining factors of global commerce. The change of tone and language with each country makes the need for fluent translation a necessity.

Neural machine translation can solve this problem. It breaks the language translation barrier and makes the flow of communication smooth and easy.

Machine learning has made quite a lot of progress but the language code is yet to be cracked. When it comes to obscure dialects, idioms or creative writing, it still faces certain problems.

But in the international market that works on defined jargons, it stands next to none. It is sure to evolve with much more functionality and algorithm for translating with better accuracy.

Google Assistant: The Best Virtual Assistant At Your Service

Google has taken over Alexa, Siri, and Cortana with its smart Google Assistant. It is said to be one of the most efficient voice search engine in the digital market. It has been through several local tests and updates from time to time. It’s globally loved because of its multi-device friendliness and a UX laid on the table.

Google Assistant

But what is Google Assistant?

An Introduction To The Smart Assistant

This voice-controlled smart assistant was originally an upgrade of Google Now- an expansion of the ‘OK Google’ service. It was launched in May 2016 and was a part of Google Allo initially. Later on, the service was boxed for Pixel phones for quite some time.

But now, it can be used by anyone with Android Lollipop or above. You can even download the Assistant app if you are an iPhone user. And the best part is Google’s smart speakers are also powered by Assistant. You can render the service by long pressing the home button of your smartphone.

What Can Google Assistant Do For You?

You can ask your Google Assistant to do a list of things. I have enlisted a few of them-

Unlocking your phone- You can bypass pin and fingerprints unlocking by setting the voice command on your Assistant for unlocking your phone. In the Google Assistant settings:

  1. go for OK Google detection
  2. select trusted voices.
  3. Add the voices that can unlock the device with voice commands.
  • Opening apps-  If you find yourself busy and not in a position to access your phone, Google Assistant is there for you. All you need to do is ask the virtual helper to open the specific app.
  • Searching Images- You can ask Google Assistant to search for a certain category of images from Drive or Gallery. If you want to see the images of a car, simply say ‘OK Google, show me the car pictures’ and rest the Assistant does for you.
  • Advice On Activities- If you are planning for a weekend fun, the Assistant can be your best buddy. Ask Google Assistant to show nearby places for dinner, hangouts, or best places to chill. Among the list of places, all you have to do is choose the best one. You can also ask for suggestions regarding vacation spots near you.
  • Have a personalized news feed- You can ask Google Assistant for reading out the headlines for you. You can also customize your news feed through settings. With Google Assistant, the all hot buzz and news can simply one ‘voice’ away.

There is a lot more you can do with Google Assistant. You can watch your favorite shows on Netflix, get sports scores and weather forecasts along with booking movie tickets. You can also make the Assistant play your favorite tracks and remind you of your appointments. The list is simply endless. So you see! With Google Assistant, your life is made so much easier.

AI- Still Waiting For The Revolution

Artificial Intelligence- a term that is recited by everyone alike and usually misunderstood. This is way different from the classical case of the general public not understanding the scientists. The idea of AI- something that rivals our intelligence, not only entertains us but also scares us to the same extent, also distracting us, unfortunately.

Artificial Intelligence

A Little Story

I remember reading a story somewhere about a pregnant woman. Her fetus was diagnosed with Downs syndrome. The ultrasound machine showed some white spots that indicated the presence of the abnormality. She was suggested to go for amniocentesis to be sure if the fetus has the genetic modification. This was a risky test where the chances of a fetus being killed were 1 in 300.

Cutting the Long story short- later, they realized that the analysis was done almost ten years back in the UK. These white spots indicated the deposition of calcium which acted as the predictor of the Down Syndrome. Apparently, the fact was ignored that the machines used today are far advanced with more pixels per square inch. Those white spots are just white noise and not something to be worried about.

The fact of the matter is that the analysis has stayed as they were as the technology is advancing. The problem lies in the time of analysis and the time it is used in. Before we use a data, we must keep in mind where when data came into existence and how relevant it is in today’s time.

The Real face Of Artificial Intelligence

We are still far away from bringing together Humans and computers in such a way that it enhances Human life. While some think this problem comes along with and is subservient to the creation of Artificial Intelligence, others also consider it as the chance to create a new branch of engineering.

The machine learning of past several decades has become AI today. The phrase AI came into existence in the late 1950s for referring to the aspiration of providing software and hardware human-level intelligence. In the 1980s, when the backpropagation algorithm was rediscovered, it brought the ‘AI revolution’. We sure have come a long way since Machine Language and first ambitious use of AI.

Way To Go

The system still has shortcomings and issues like security and privacy. These are not just the only problem, these are challenges. The success in the field of AI is limited right now. Truth be told, we still have a long way to go before we can realize the AI aspirations that could imitate humans. Unfortunately, even a limited success catches the attention of media and hypes it up.

We already depend on the technology quite a lot. But the revolution in the field of AI is still awaited. It is going to be very complex and challenging.

Artificial Intelligence Just Got Smarter- Goes Bilingual

Neural networks have given automatic language transition a new face. It is an algorithm that is inspired by the human brain. They used huge labeled datasets to be trained to do a variety of complex tasks like the human brain that performs only after gaining the knowledge about something.

Now suppose, you were given Chinese and Arabic books and need to learn to translate Chinese into Arabic. Will you be able to do that? No one among us can. But now, the computer can do that.

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The Breakthrough Story

Yes, you heard it right. Two teams of computer scientists have gained success in translating languages with the use of Artificial Intelligence. Both groups, one from Facebook and other from the University of the Basque Country (UPV), independently created techniques through which neural networks can translate languages. Artificial intelligence can do that without using human intervention or a dictionary. It is all about unsupervised machine learning.

However, its bilingual evaluation understudy score came to 15 in both directions. It is lower than that of Google translate which is 40 or Human who can score 50. But, it is way better than word-to-word translation. Isn’t it? And this is just the beginning. No one knows where this road is headed and what surprises it will bring.

The secret is unveiled

When you hear such wonderful and magical things, a question often haunts your brain- how is it done?

The techniques of both the groups first recognize the pattern in each language. They identify commonly paired words like shoe-socks, tree-leaves, table-chair, etc. that are common across the languages.

Once these patterns are recognized, the neural network then links these co-occurrences in both the languages. This develops a bilingual dictionary on the accuracy of the translation, without any human feedback. Then, these dictionaries are used for translating the whole sentences.

It is more like a giant atlas with words for cities. The maps in each language will resemble each other with just different names. All computers do is figure out a way to overlay one map over another and voila, you have a bilingual dictionary ready.

Apart from this technique, neural network uses two more ways- back translation and denoising.

In back translation, a sentence is translated to the required language and then back again to the original language. If there is any discrepancy between the two sentences, neutral networks adjust itself and then tries to make a more accurate translation.

We Taught AI Racial And Gender Biases

Programs like Google Translate has experienced a dramatic hike in the ability of language interpretation in past few years. Thanks to the new machine learning techniques and of course to the numerous online text data. It is on these data that the algorithms can be trained.

Everyday machines are acquiring the human-like abilities of language. Along with it, they are also inheriting the deeply ingrained biases hidden in the patterns of language. AI has been seen exhibiting a striking gender and racial biases. Many studies have proved that AI is biased towards gender and races. Is it really biased?

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Is AI Biased Or We Are?

People say that this shows AI is prejudiced and biased. No, it shows we are biased and prejudiced and AI is learning it. Because we are assisting AI in its learning. It is reinforced in AI because algorithms are unequipped in consciously counteracting the learned biases, unlike humans.

Embedded Biases

Machines learn from Word Embedding. This process has transformed the way computers interpret text and speech. This method has successfully helped computers in making sense of the language in past few years.

Word Embedding builds up a mathematical representation of language. The meaning of a word in it is distilled into a series of numbers, called Word Vector and based on which related words and terms words frequently appear together.

For example, in the mathematical language space, words for flowers and pleasantness are clustered closer while words for insects and unpleasantness appear close together. Thus, to AI flower is connected to pleasantness and insect to unpleasantness.

This purely statistical approach has captured the social and cultural context of words differently than a dictionary. Some of these implicit biases in the experiments of human psychology has been captured by these algorithms. Words like female and women became closely associated with arts, humanities, and home while the words male and the man appeared closer to the professions like Math and engineering.