TECH

Google Introduces Hindi Assistant In Its Allo App — And Its Not What We Had Expected

The chat app was launched in September in India.

07/12/2016 11:00 AM IST | Updated 07/12/2016 11:48 AM IST
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Google has quickly fulfilled its promise of introducing the Hindi Google assistant, as it announced the language support for Artificial Intelligence in its chat app, Allo.

The app was launched in September, with the first roll-out in India. It featured the AI-powered Google assistant, which helped answering users' questions without leaving the app. A week later, during a special event celebrating Google's 18th anniversary, the company announced it will soon introduce the assistant in Hindi.

To turn on Hindi language, users just has to type or say "Talk to me in Hindi". The assistant will switch to the Hindi mode and then users can ask questions about cricket match scores, information regarding their favourite actors, and more.

READ: Allo Review: Google's Fun Bet On Machine Learning And Messaging

Mind you, this is a very early stage feature, so you might have to bear with a lot of annoyance regarding the sentence structure. For instance, you can ask "Who is SRK?" in English to get a perfect answer, but in Hindi, the result shows something else. Similarly, for searching movie shows around you in Hindi you need to type in the exact phrase. That's a big step back from the fairly natural language compliant English assistant.

Although one positive thing about this feature is that you don't need to type in Hindi. You can type in 'Hinglish' like "Aap ka kya haal hai?" and there will be options in the smart replies in Hindi as well.

Allo

"Since it's launch, Google Allo has received a tremendous response, especially in India, which has one of the highest number of Google Allo users. The Google Assistant, in particular, is one of the most loved features in Google Allo -- one in every 12 messages in group chats are messages to the Google Assistant.

"We are enthused by this and today's launch enables us to extend these features to the next millions of users in a language of their choice," Amit Fulay, group product manager of Google, said.

While the assistant in Hindi is a good step toward the inclusion of non-English languages in AI, it certainly needs much more work. Google has to understand that people who may like to type to or talk at the assistant in Hindi would be more inclined towards natural language rather than fixed phrases. But since this is the first iteration of the Google Assistant in Hindi, we can pass this as a beta testing platform to hone its language skills.

Google Allo: The Wait Is Over

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