Virtual assistants once seen as something of the future have come to the present. Companies are pouring more and more money into artificial intelligence. Over the past few years they have grown and matured. They are even developing personalities now. For instance Google has hired writers from Pixar and The Onion to help give Assistant a personality.
During Google’s announcement of Google Home they threw around the terms “conversational” and “natural” again and again. However one thing that sticks out to me as completely unnatural is the keyword. Using “OK Google” or even “Hello Google” sounds so unnatural to me. It sounds like I’m talking to a computer or even worse a company.
Of course you are speaking to a computer, but you shouldn’t feel like you are. Look at their competition from Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft. They have all given their AI a name Alexa, Siri, and Cortana. Each have a unique name, voice, and even a personality.
As limited as it might be from the canned responses that have been programmed. It still gives the slight illusion that you’re speaking to more than a computer or stationary object. Plus let’s face it that it can be just plain fun conversing with them, and hearing the funny responses that were programmed in.
Another fictional example would be Jarvis from the Iron Man films. Granted this is make believe and we’re far from that level of AI, still isn’t this what we’re working towards. Aren’t we striving for the future where we all have our own personal Jarvis.
Without a name Google Assistant takes away this illusion and some of the fun. Every time you trigger it, you are reminded I’m talking to Google and a machine. Besides that using two words for activation is a mouthful, and becomes a bit exhausting after repeating again and again.
No one is going to forget we’re using Google especially using your own branded hardware. In the past it was fine to use OK Google when all you were doing was a voice search. Now times are different. Do yourself a favor Google, give Assistant a name and make it more personable.