Back at Google I/O, we saw Assistant debut a bunch of new voice options, giving users a total of eight to choose between. That was a huge step forward in terms of variety, but Google isn't done there. Today we learn of the latest addition to Assistant's library of voice models, with a new British and Australian option arriving for US users.
The “British Racing Green” and “Sydney Harbour Blue” voices were built using the same WaveNet DeepMind tech that's Google's tapped to create natural-sounding speech profiles before. And while the experience isn't quite the same as having a tiny, posh butler living inside your phone, it's very much a satisfying step in that direction.
Of course, you're under no obligation to switch to one of these new Commonwealth accents, and the existing selection of much more American-sounding voices remains. We're not going to start calling any of those old ones "bland," but viewed in the light of these new options we're definitely beginning to long for a little more variety.
What might spice things up nicely would be to see the arrival of the Google Assistant John Legend voice, initially promised to land "later this year." That clock's running down fast, and while we can't say that it certainly won't happen on schedule, it's sure looking less and less likely. For the moment, we'll just have to enjoy the new voices we get.