Google wants to make its next personal assistant more personable by giving it a childhood

Google Home
Android users will know how helpful Google Now can be. It’s a great personal assistant once you understand how to use it. There is, however, one thing that it’s missing — a personality — something that even Apple’s Siri has. That’s why Google is trying to make its next personal assistant, aptly called Google Assistant, a little more personable.

Google has enlisted the help of Google Doodle head Ryan Germick and ex-Pixar animator Emma Coats to help give Google Assistant a little more of a personality. Google Assistant is set to appear in a number of upcoming products, including Google Home and Allo, Google’s new messaging app.

So what goes in to making Google Assistant a little friendlier? Like Siri and Alexa, Assistant will be much more conversational than Google Now. Not only that, but Germick and Coats are trying to put a little humor into the system. Coats even describes working on Assistant as working on a “character,” the same way she would have over at Pixar.

Perhaps even more interesting than that is that making Assistant more personable includes giving it a “childhood,” allowing people to relate to the artificial being as if it had a life. The team is also reportedly experimenting with building trust between the user and the Assistant by making the latter seem vulnerable every now and then — like it sometimes needs your help rather than the other way around.

Of course, Google doesn’t want to just build another Siri. The team behind Assistant wants to make it a little more casual, and more like a companion. What that means is that some of the answers programmed into it are purely fun, rather than always aimed at offering information.

“There have been studies that show that it doesn’t necessarily matter if you instantly click with someone. One thing we do is to make the character as entertaining as we possibly can, so that you want to spend time with it.” said Coats in an interview with Fast Company.

Google Assistant is certainly shaping up to be an interesting addition to the digital assistants already out there. Perhaps Google’s fascination with making it a character will prompt it to give it a name.

Computing

In the age of Alexa and Siri, Cortana’s halo has grown dim

In a sea of voice assistants, Cortana has become almost irrelevant. The nearly five-year-old voice assistant is seeing little love from consumers, and here’s why it is dead.
Smart Home

OK Google, what else can you do? The best tips and tricks for Google Home

The Home functions in a similar fashion to its main competitor, the Amazon Echo, but has the added benefit of select Google services. Here are few tips to help you make the most of the newfangled device.
Smart Home

Google Home vs. Amazon Echo: Which one is better for you?

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Gaming

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.
Deals

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Mobile

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Deals

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.
Deals

The 5 best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…