Most smart speaker glitches aren’t worthy of a breaking news bulletin, but a new rash of Google Assistant bugs might be worth some pixilated ink. A number of reports have appeared in recent days on a Google Assistant forum that show the digital assistant is spontaneously switching to U.S. English only and refusing to respond to the traditional “OK, Google,” command.
The company has acknowledged that it’s having some issues and that the Google Assistant support team is looking into users’ problems with the digital assistant and its accompanying use on smartphones and the company’s Google Home products.
As first reported at Piunikaweb, Google’s response has been straightforward, if a bit muted. The common response to the outbreaks of breaks goes something like this: “Hey, folks. Thank you for sharing feedback regarding this issue, and I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. The team is aware of this problem and currently investigating a stable solution. Please feel free to continue updating this thread with any additional information.”
Weirdly, in addition to switching to U.S. English and refusing to respond to wake-up commands, Google Assistant is also going through a sex change. Several users on the forum report their Google Assistants not only changing languages, including switching between accented English versions including British English and Australian, but have also changed from female to male and vice-versa.
Here are some of the complaints being fielded against Google over the Google Assistant fracas:
“My Google Home and Samsung GS7 phone assistants have started talking in an American male voice too. I am based in the U.K. and both are set to U.K. English with the female assistant voice who I miss. I literally hate the male American voice! Why has it gone Google? Interestingly this has only affected my free Google account. When I switch to my G suite account the female U.K. English comes back, however I can’t access my calendar etc. with G suite! Get this sorted Google and bring back my U.K. English female!”
“Yeah, I’m a U.S. user but have mine set to U.K. English because I dig the accent. Last night it started responding in U.S. English, and every time I tried to switch it around I’d get the “something went wrong, please try again in a second” in the accent of my choice followed by a reversion to U.S. English immediately afterward. Today I’m occasionally getting the odd response in the chosen accent, but most of the time it’s back to the default. Please fix, I’m feeling less cultured by the moment. :)”
Another user reported that they were able to change the localization to Japanese and talk to the device in Japanese but somehow Google seems to have misplaced all the non-U.S. English Language assistants.
Users are also currently reporting that the “Voice Match” setting on their Google Assistants is currently grayed out after the last software update. We’re also pondering whether this has something to do with the Google Assistant’s newly acquired multilingual features. Regardless, we’ll keep an eye on the Case of the Missing Overseas Assistants and let you know if the problems persist.
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