It’s pretty clear why Google opted not to announce this news on Monday, along with those new Gmail additions. When the company first mentioned at I/O that musician John Legend’s voice would be coming to Assistant, honestly, we weren’t sure if the company was joking.
Today, however, that feature becomes as reality — if you want it. If you say “Hey Google, talk like a Legend,” or go into Assistant’s settings, you can swap out your default voice for him. The singer went into the studio to record a select number of features, including answers to queries like:
- “Are you John Legend?”
- “What’s your favorite type of music?”
- “Who is Chrissy Teigen?”
- “Tell me a joke.”
Legend’s voice is only available for select content, including some “Easter eggs.” Other questions will be answered by the standard Assistant voice. Along with his recordings, Google utilized its WaveNet deep neural network technology to fine tune Legend’s voice for Assistant.
Google says “cameo voices” are among Assistant’s most requested features. As such, I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear more from them in the near future.