I’d like my Google assistant (and Alexa) to speak American English with a foreign accent. Specifically, I’d cycle through different dialects such as Jamaican, Australian, British, Irish, and maybe even Spanish. Again, I don’t want them to speak a foreign language, just speak my language in their accent.
It just sounds nicer to me. It’s fun to hear it. It’s harmless right?
Plus, Google already has this technology. Of course, they don’t have an “accent” option. However, if you change the input language of your device, the assistant then takes on a local accent. So therefore, English (UK) as your input language equaled a British Google Maps voice.
The Law of Unintended Consequences
This is whenever someone does something expecting one result but actually gets other results that were not anticipated. In this case, I changed my language to English (Ireland) and my news feed immediately started assuming I was interested in local Irish politics. I was dumbfounded at first, thinking Google had lost its mind. Then I realized what had happened. Someone at Google thought, “Language is an important indicator of what the person is interested in.” Of course, this is incorrect in my case. They probably had lots of data to support their assumption. (Or not?)
To me, this is simple. They already have the technology to make the assistant speak English in other dialects. Just make an option for it. People want choice. Don’t you remember the old Garmin navigators. You could get Mr. T or George W. Bush to help you navigate. I loved the celebrity directions. I distinctly remember the Bush one saying, “You have reached your destification.” It was fun.
People don’t put enough fun into the experiences. A friend at Google recently spearheaded the Where’s Waldo promotion. She had the idea and just did it. 50 million people played with it. That’s fun! We need more of that.
I want my assistant to say, “Cheerio! Wot Wot! Pip Pip Gov’Nah!” (That’s my impression of a British person. Possibly an offensive stereotype. Sorry-not sorry)