The Echo has pitted Amazon squarely against Apple's Siri, but now Google is now in the running as well for best robot assistant, and might pose a real threat to its competitors thanks to one special feature: its sense of humor.
Google has hired some witty writers from the likes of The Onion and Pixar to liven up conversations between its simply-named Google Assistant and its users, according to The Wall Street Journal. And it's looking for more creative writers, ideally those who have experience in comedy or entertainment and are fluent in a foreign language.
Incorporating such talents would add to Google Home's already-massive database of search data, its existing machine-learning systems, and its improved ability to understand and respond with conversational language, which Google touted at an event earlier this month. And that could make Google Home more than an Alexa copycat.
All jokes aside, Google could even be on its way to creating a robot home companion, either as software that could be integrated into the likes of Softbank's Pepper humanoid robot, or as Google's own physical home robot. Such robots might be someday commonplace in homes to assist busy families, serve as companions for elderly and more.
For now, consumers will have to settle for a more straight-and-narrow version of Google Assistant, which Tom's Guide got a walk-through of earlier this month. But Google Assistant could soon be cracking jokes just as easily as it gives you your daily traffic and weather updates in the morning.