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.

Smart Home

Amazon Echo Show and Google Home Hub get huge price cuts

If you act today you can get an amazing deal on the first-gen Amazon Echo Show on Woot or the current generation Google Home Hub on Rakuten. The Echo Show works with Alexa and the Google Home Hub with Google Assistant.
Smart Home

These are the 13 best games to play on your new Google Home

Google Home is a handy device, but did you know you can play games with it? There are a ton to play, and we tested them all. Here are some of favorites that you can play on your Google Home device.
Smart Home

Google has tips for making your smart home more eco-friendly

Google is announcing new integrations for Google Assistant with energy and water-saving devices for Earth Day. The company is also offering tips on how to cut down on your energy bill.
Smart Home

From the kitchen to the bedroom, here are the best Alexa tips and tricks

Amazon's voice assistant Alexa has plenty of neat skills. So many, in fact, it seems like new ones appear every day. We've rounded up the top Echo tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual assistant.
Smart Home

The Houzz app now lets you virtually tile your floor with augmented reality

Augmented reality is starting to be a real bonus to apps like Houzz's View in My Room 3D tool, which recently added the ability to measure how a tiled floor might look in your living space.
Mobile

The best Bluetooth headsets of 2019, from Sennheiser to Jabra

Quality headsets are rare. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets available, whether you need something modest, cheap, or loaded with features. We highlight the best Bluetooth headsets you can get for different situations.
Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?
Mobile

Samsung begins retrieving all the Galaxy Fold review units

The Samsung Galaxy Fold has arrived, and it goes on sale soon. Folding out from a 4.6-inch display to a tablet-sized 7.3-inch display, this unique device has six cameras, two batteries, and special software to help you use multiple apps.
Mobile

Common Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e problems and how to fix them

Samsung's new Galaxy S10 range is gorgeous and extremely powerful. But they're not perfect, and you may discover some issues with your new phone. Here are some of the most common Galaxy S10 problems and how to fix them.
Mobile

Michael Kors updates its Sofie smartwatch, but still uses a processor from 2016

Michael Kors announced an update to the Sofie smartwatch, now offering heart rate monitoring, GPS, and NFC support. There's only one problem — the device still offers the Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.
Photography

Capture life in every direction with the best 360 cameras

While 360 cameras are still a new technology, that doesn't mean there's not a few that are worth a look. Whether you want to shoot from the middle or just need a simple, affordable option, here are the best 360 cameras on the market.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.