Google Assistant can book concert tickets, find restaurants, keep your appointments, and even send you a daily poem, but the smart planner that powers products like Allo (opens in new tab), Google Home (opens in new tab), and Pixel (opens in new tab) may soon also have a biting wit.
Google’s artificial intelligence is developing its knack for jokes thanks to input from writers who’ve worked on Pixar films and The Onion, according to The Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab).
This effort comes from wanting to create an emotional connection between Google Assistant and the user, according to Gummi Hafsteinsson, director of product management for Google Home.
More human all the time
In addition to giving the AI the ability to crack a joke here and there, other ways Google is making its Assistant more relatable include practicing inflection to avoid that classic robot monotone and lowering latency time so there are fewer awkward pauses between prompt and response.
Comparatively, Apple’s digital assistant Siri and Amazon’s Alexa - the latter a mainstay in Amazon’s line of - can respond with jokes of their own, when prompted. However, they tend to be mostly groan-inducing puns you feel better off not having heard.
With luck, products like Google Home and Pixel will exchange the eye-rollers for some punchier material and make talking to AI feel less like a trip to The Uncanny Valley. Just do us one favor, Google: .