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Google Assistant Beefs Up Conversational Tech

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To help users make follow-up queries or ask additional questions, Google has brought the Continued Conversation feature to smart displays such as the Google Home Hub and the JBL Link View. The feature just came to these kinds of products for the first time in the U.S., Venture Beat reported.

Users turn on Continued Conversation feature in the Google Home app through its settings section. Google Assistant, in turn, will then be ready to accept commands or questions for roughly eight more seconds after a request from a user. However, the feature doesn’t work at all times: Users can’t access it when they listen to podcasts or make phone calls.

In practice, a user could start a conversation with, for example, “OK Google, tell me about George Washington.” The user could then proceed to ask when he was president or when he was born. And, in another example, a user could ask about the weather in a future week after inquiring about it for the weekend. Overall, the feature is meant to make Google Assistant interactions into more conversational exchanges. As a result, users don’t have to say “Hey Google” after each interaction.

The news comes as Google made Google Assistant easier with the launch of Continued Conversation, as reported last June. Google Assistant Product Manager Jaclyn Konzelmann wrote at the time, “For the Google Assistant to have a natural conversation, it should be able to understand when it’s being spoken to and should be capable of responding to several requests during an interaction.” Konzelmann continued, “We’re taking another step forward in making your interactions with the Google Assistant more natural with Continued Conversation.”

The feature had started to be available on Google Home Mini, Google Home and Google Home Max at the time.  Continue Conversation’s features were first announced at I/O, including the feature of having a natural back-and-forth conversation with the Assistant.

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