Google is stacking up no fewer than seven new voices for Assistant Actions, available to developers starting today. The voices essentially represent new dialects or flavors of the previously-existing voices utilized in Google Assistant Actions. So they appear as users access various activities in the AI helper from third-party developers, reports indicate.
Of the seven new voices, there are only five languages seeing changes here. Those are Chinese (Traditional), English, Hindi, Italian, and Indonesian. For the first item on that international language list, developers now have access to a second Male option.
In English, Google has added a second female option featuring an Indian accent. Hindi, conversely, is getting a second option for the language in both male and female voices. The same holds true for Italian, with a second option added for both male and female voices.
Finally, the Indonesian language now has a second female option for developers to present to users interacting with their Assistant Actions.
New Google Assistant Action voices may not be immediately apparent for all users
Now, not every user is going to notice any of these changes. That's because, as is readily surmised, the new voices in Google Assistant Actions aren't readily available to end-users. These are not going to appear in the Home or Assistant app as a default option for Assistant's voice. Google keeps a separate list of voices for that purpose, which also frequently grows.
Instead, developed with Wavenet, they're intended to help developers create a more natural experience in Assistant Actions. The end goal is to help developers create less jarring experiences that offer that without crossing over into the uncanny valley. Summarily, without causing users discomfort because the voice is close to being realistic but not quite believable.
Actions themselves are the functional equivalent of Amazon's Alexa Skills. They serve as micro-experiences within the wider context of Assistant. In short, they allow users to access a developer's app or functionality outside of the primary set of voice commands. For example, some more popular ones include Magic 8 Ball and Mad Libs.
That also means they'll only be appearing with those actions where developers have implemented them. Additionally, if a user isn't accessing Assistant Actions that utilize the new voices, they're unlikely to encounter the new voices.
These are available to developers now
Bearing in mind that it's up to developers to implement the new Google Assistant Actions voices, they are available now. That's complete with example clips at the developer website for the feature. So developers can begin implementing them immediately if they choose. And that also means that users of select apps that implement the new voices should begin hearing those soon too.
Its appearance is just going to be hit and miss, with no feasible way to predict which of the Actions will utilize them.
Regardless, the new voices will undoubtedly prove useful for developers who want to expand their target audience within any of the associated regions. The total number of available AI voices for Google Assistant Actions developers now rests at 25 in all. With most languages only featuring a single dialect — one for male and another for female — prior to the change.