Wednesday January 23, 2019
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Google Home To Be Your Best Friend Now

Here is "Google Home", your true best friend for life.

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Google
Google deepens partnership with Facebook on AI tech, Pixabay

“OK Google, wake me up at 8 a.m. and book an appointment with the hair stylist at 10 a.m.,” went the instruction to Google Home — the voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant.

“Sure, your alarm is set for 8 a.m. and the appointment has been fixed for 10 a.m.,” came the instant reply from Google Assistant — the new lady in my home who, according to senior company executives, has received over 4.5 lakh marriage proposals from India.

Following the launch of “Amazon Echo” smart speaker in India last year, Google has now brought its “Home” speaker range to the country.

Google home device.
Google Home.

Google Home and Home Mini speakers — priced at Rs 9,999 and Rs 4,499, respectively — can help people with their commute, play their favourite songs and videos, plan their daily schedule and lots more.

Let’s see how Google Home fares in the Indian context.

The speaker is capable of understanding the thick Indian accent thanks to two microphones on either side of the LED lights that light up when the device recognises the opening “OK Google” voice command.

The two microphones utilise the neural beam forming technique to enable accurate voice recognition.

The curves of the device resemble a wine glass. The lower part holds the speakers and the upper part is the main body with the touch-sensitive top.

When the volume is increased or decreased, the device responds with the shimmering ivory-coloured light ring.

Google has trained the Assistant in English and has promised Hindi support later this year.

“Play ‘Firestone’ by KYGO,” went another voice command and lo! the device checked the Google Play music subscription — the company is giving six-month free Google Play music subscription when you buy the device — and instantly played the song.

Also Read: Google AI can focus on individual speakers in a crowd

The device also works with music streaming platforms like Saavn and Gaana. The music output was good for a medium-sized room.

“OK, Google, play Arijit Singh songs.” She returned with the hit number “Enna sona kyun rab ne banaya”.

If you want to chat or listen to her in an another room, pair another Home device or a Bluetooth speaker with Chromecast support. Another option is to attach a Chromecast Audio device to a speaker.

Google Assistant told us the correct score of Delhi Daredevils while it chased the Mumbai Indians’ total in one of the IPL matches.

However, to a question on happenings in Syria, she played a 30-second news bulletin from BBC News.

The Google's logo
The logo of Google. Pixabay

Google has simulated hundreds of thousands of noisy environments and applied Machine Learning (ML) to recognise patterns that allow it to filter and separate speech from noise.

Google Assistant understands several languages and can translates sentences into Spanish, French and more.

Not only multimedia, Google Home can also control smart devices such as connected Internet of Things (IoT) device “Philips Hue” in your drawing room.

We set up Google Home to control a light bulb which was connected via “Philips Hue”. We asked the device to dim, turn off and turn on the light and got the desired results.

Also Read: Want To Know What Facebook, Google Know About You?

What didn’t work?

While playing music, Google Home at times did not receive the command in one go. We had to raise our voice twice or sometimes thrice to get the command through the noisy environment.

One important takeaway: Never keep your Google Assistant-enabled smartphone near Home device as the voice command does wake up Assistant in the smartphone too and could ruin the whole experience.

Conclusion: At this price point, Google Home is a good choice as it saves time while performing some key daily tasks for you. It is not the replacement of your better half yet, but does help you with daily chores. Take it home.  IANS

Next Story

Google Will Now Update You About Political Ad-Spend In India

Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms, the company said in a statement. 

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Google
Google will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms, the company said in a statement.

 

As India gears up for the Lok Sabha elections, Google on Tuesday announced an updated election ads that will provide comprehensive information about who is purchasing these on Google platforms and how much money is being spent.

The updated election ads policy will require advertisers to provide a “pre-certificate” issued by the Election Commision of India (ECI) or anyone authorised by the ECI, for each ad they wish to run.

Affidavits of all the contesting 223 BJP candidates were analysed. Two hundred and eight (93 per cent) of the 223 candidates in fray from the BJP have declared assets worth over Rs 1 crore, the highest number among all the parties contesting.
Election Commission of India, IANS

Google said it will verify the identity of advertisers before their election ads run on its platforms.

The advertiser verification process will begin on February 14 and begin enforcing the policy from February 20.

The company would also introduce an India-specific “Political Advertising Transparency” report and searchable “Political Ads Library” in March.

“The ads that will be covered in the Political Advertising Transparency Report and Ads Library are ads for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 that feature a political party, political candidate or current member of the Lok Sabha, or any ads that are run by a political party, political candidate or current member of the Lok Sabha,” Chetan Krishnaswamy, Director-Public Policy, Google India, told IANS.

In 2019, over 850 million Indians are expected to cast their vote to elect the country’s next government.

“We’re thinking hard about elections and how we continue to support democratic processes in India and around the world,” Krishnaswamy said in a seperate statement.

For the elections, Google will make electoral information from the ECI and other authoritative sources easily discoverable on Search.

google
Google to verify political ads in India ahead of 2019 polls

“We are bringing more transparency to election advertising online, and surfacing relevant information to help people better navigate the electoral process,” Krishnaswamy added.

Google became the second tech giant after Facebook in December announced fresh steps to increase ad transparency and defend against foreign interference ahead of the 2019 polls.

Now anyone who wants to run an ad in India related to politics will need to first confirm their identity and location, and give more details about who placed the ad, the social networking giant said.

Also Read: Google Opens New Office,Plans To Expand Itself In Berlin

Facebook would also start to show a disclaimer on all political ads that provides more information about who’s placing the ad, and an online searchable Ad Library for anyone to access.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in November said it is taking “multi-variable” steps, including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to curb the spread of misleading information on its platform ahead of general election. /9IANS0