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Google Assistant Goes Bilingual, Several Indian Languages Coming Soon

Machine Learning Triggers Automatic Recognition

Google is making sure every news that comes out of IFA 2018 is bang on. It has already announced integrations for many gadgets and now, we have news regarding Google Assistant.

According to the latest from the company, Google Assistant is now bilingual. The highly requested feature finally made it and the best part is, it automatically recognizes the language; meaning you do not have to every time select a language before asking Google Assistant a question.

However, it doesn’t support more than two languages at the time. You would need to pre-select two languages you want it to recognize.

Google Assistant Support Languages

  • English
  • German
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Japanese

Google plans on “expanding to more languages in the coming months.” The tech behind this amazing feature is pretty interesting, as explained by Google.

In 2013, Google started working on spoken language identification (LangID) technology using deep neural networks [4][5]. Today, our state-of-the-art LangID models can distinguish between pairs of languages in over 2000 alternative language pairs using recurrent neural networks, a family of neural networks which are particularly successful for sequence modeling problems, such as those in speech recognition, voice detection, speaker recognition and others. One of the challenges we ran into was working with larger sets of audio — getting models that can automatically understand multiple languages at scale, and hitting a quality standard that allowed those models to work properly.

Going Global With Google Assistant Support

Google is not only focusing on western languages but also on South East Asia. Algorithms are under development that allow Google Assistant to support seven Indian languages soon. During the recent “Google for India” event the company announced the arrival of Marathi. Meanwhile, other languages are in the pipeline – Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Kannada, Urdu and Malayalam.

In addition to supporting multiple languages, the assistant will use machine learning to enhance user experience. Currently, only English and Hindi are supported in South East Asia. An update in the coming months will add more regional languages.

Source: Google

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