Google Assistant has released its first celebrity voice cameo today. Featuring silky-smooth voice of John Legend, the Google Assistant will now tell you the weather and answer questions like “Who is Chrissy Teigen?” in Legend’s voice. Not just this, the Grammy-winning artist will even sing “Happy Birthday” to you, but for a limited time.
Accessible on both Android and iOS, this new feature is currently available in English in the US, but it looks like this is just the beginning of Google adding more celebrity cameos in more regions. For activating Legend’s voice, all you need to do is say, “Hey, Google, talk like a Legend” or go to Assistant voice in their Settings to switch to his voice.
At Google I/O 2018, the company gave a preview of its speech synthesis model WaveNet in which it showcased six new Google Assistant voices, including John Legend. This speech synthesis model is powered by Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence and works on creating more realistic-sounding voices by sampling human speech and directly modeling audio waveforms from it. Talking about it, Sunder Pichai said onstage, “WaveNet allowed us to shorten the studio time, and the model can actually capture the richness of his voice.”