There’s a viral video of an adorable grandma struggling to communicate with Google Assistant, because the technology is unable to adequately parse her Italian accent. Not only that, but she doesn’t understand that you need to say, “Hey Google,” every time you want to ask Assistant a question.
Google highlighted this video at its IO conference when it debuted its new Continued Conversation feature. The search giant noted how frustrating it is to utter the wake phrase so often—something that can really create a huge disconnect between user and technology. Thankfully, Continued Conversation is now available, making conversations much more natural with Assistant.
Google on Thursday said the feature can be turned on in the Google Assistant app by heading to Settings > Preferences > Continued Conversation.
When the feature is turned on, users can carry on a conversation with Assistant without saying, “Hey Google,” before every query. You can simply ask a question and then follow it up with something else. An initial wake phrase is still required, but after that Assistant will be at full attention.
Assistant will automatically determine when to stop listening, or you can simply tell it “thank you” and it will go back to sleep.
It might take some getting used to, but Continued Conversation is a big turning point for Google Assistant. Being able to carry on a conversation without following strict requisites brings consumers closer to a Her-like era of human/AI interaction.