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Apr 20, 2017 1:03 PM

Google Home's assistant can now recognize different voices

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google's voice-activated assistant can now recognize who's talking to it on Google's Home speaker.

An update that came out Thursday enables Home's built-in assistant to learn the different voices of up to six people, although they can't all be talking to the internet-connected speaker at the same time.

Distinguishing voices will allow Home to be more personal in some of its responses about estimated commute times, daily calendars and music preferences, depending on who triggers the assistant with the phrase, "OK Google" or "Hey Google."

That ability may give Home an advantage over Amazon.com's Echo, a competing product that features its own voice-activated assistant, Alexa. The Echo and Alexa still don't recognize different voices.

Despite the technological advance, Google's voice-distinction feature won't prevent unauthorized users from activating the assistant.

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