Learning to speak with Google Assistant

Our Google Home lives on my grandparents' sideboard
Our Google Home lives on my grandparents’ sideboard

We got a Google Home for Christmas. I feel a little like we have invited the Toclafane into our home but I admit I?m a sucker for anything which plays whatever music I want when I ask it to.

?What is it for?? Some curious friends asked us on New Year’s Eve. ?It can tell you the weather forecast, set a timer and play music,? we replied.

One of them asked it: ?How long is a shrew?s tail?? Google Assistant didn’t know. He asked her the same question through the night with similar responses. In the morning, he asked again and she told him the answer. (It?s 8cm, in case you?re interested.) While we had been eating, drinking and watching Jools Holland, she had been working out what we wanted to know.

Animal trivia is becoming our Google Assistant?s bread and butter. From day one, my 4-year-old started asking her: ?Hey Google, what do sharks eat??

?Hey Google, what’s the tallest tree??
?Hey Google, how many fins does a shark have??

We didn’t get the answer to the last one but Google Assistant told us that sharks don’t have bones, which was a good fact for a 4-year-old. I also inadvertently demonstrated that she?ll be able to answer his maths homework questions when I asked: ?What?s two plus two??

But one of the most striking things about the new arrival in our household is watching our youngest child interact with it. It?s his birthday today. He is 2-years-old today and only just starting to put words together but he turns to her and says: ?Hey Google?. Google Assistant doesn’t understand him yet but he knows what to do with her.

I know the world is changing fast. We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution. The skills we value in the workplace now will have changed before my children have reached secondary school.

My children are growing up in a radically different world to the one I know. Are you prepared for it? I?m not sure I am.

  • Rachel Extance is a communications consultant who makes abstract concepts relevant to people.
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Rachel Extance

Award-winning journalist and blogger. I help service-based business owners communicate who they are, what they do, and why. If you struggle to talk about yourself on your website or your content marketing, get in touch with me.

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