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Google hired Pixar writers to make Assistant funny

We expect our digital assistants to be smart, to set timers and organize schedules and provide answers to important questions. Like, does Bigfoot exist? Increasingly, our expectations for these assistants has become for them to act more human. For Google, that means giving its new Assistant technology a sense of humor.

In a report from the Wall Street Journal, it’s revealed that Google hired writers from Pixar and the Onion in an effort to give Assistant personality. “Google wants to build an emotional connection with the user,” according to Gummi Hafsteinsson, product management director of Google Home.

WSJ further expands on Hafsteinsson’s comments:

Getting it right also requires paying attention to details such as latency—humans have no patience for it in conversation—and tone of voice, such as stressing the word “now,” when Assistant says, “Setting a timer for two minutes starting now.”

Although assistants such as Siri and Alexa are becoming smarter, you’re very aware you’re talking to a robot with scripted responses. Google is trying to bridge the divide between human and AI by using humor as a way to create an emotional connection. Think of the movie Her as an example of what Google is hoping to achieve.

Why a smarter Google Assistant matters…

Google’s Assistant technology is at the core of the search giant’s software and hardware ambitions, which is why it’s important to create something that people can form a connection with. Assistant is crucial to both Google Home and its new Pixel smartphone, and it’s also available in Allo, the company’s new mobile messaging app.

Article source: http://www.technobuffalo.com/2016/10/10/google-assistant-pixar-writers/