Google's long-delayed John Legend Assistant voice made an unexpected appearance last week, but Google insisted it was a bug. Well, that claim is a bit more suspect now that we know Mr. Legend is coming to your phone and speakers this very day. According to Google, John Legend will be available for select Assistant interactions starting today.
Google says that "cameo voices" have been one of the most popular feature requests since Assistant's debut. John Legend is the first, thanks to the WaveNet voice synthesis technology developed at Google subsidiary DeepMind.
Today, we’re passing the mic to John Legend as he makes a cameo as the newest voice on your Google Assistant. Just say ”Hey Google, #TalkLikeALegend” → https://t.co/bjYXLGXl5F #HeyGoogle pic.twitter.com/bzJ2ejT7nU
— Google (@Google) April 3, 2019
The John Legend voice will only work for certain things. Google previously gave the impression this would be a full alternative voice for Assistant (it's still in the settings alongside all the regular voices), but you'll only hear from John Legend when you ask for general knowledge, music, and John Legend-specific queries like "Who is Chrissy Teigen?" In addition, Google says the John Legend voice is only available for a limited time in US English, but we don't know how limited.
So, this is all much less extensive than we had initially hoped. It's still a neat demo of Google's voice synthesis technology and a treat for John Legend fans.