Google Assistant plans to out-funny Siri with help from The Onion

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, Google Home, and Pixel 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

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 Echo home speakers - 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 Just do us one favor, Google: Keep it light on the outdated memes, please.

Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.