One of the biggest problems with Google Assistant right now is that without an internet connection it’s pretty useless and with an internet connection your audio has to be processed by The Goog and shot back to you.
There are a few commands that work natively, but for the better understanding you’re looking at your little wiretap sending an audio file out, and getting commands back in.
Today, we’ve reached a new milestone. Building upon advancements in recurrent neural networks, we developed completely new speech recognition and language understanding models, bringing 100GB of models in the cloud down to less than half a gigabyte. With these new models, the AI that powers the Assistant can now run locally on your phone. This breakthrough enabled us to create a next generation Assistant that processes speech on-device at nearly zero latency, with transcription that happens in real-time, even when you have no network connection.
Running on-device, the next generation Assistant can process and understand your requests as you make them, and deliver the answers up to 10 times faster. You can multitask across apps—so creating a calendar invite, finding and sharing a photo with your friends, or dictating an email is faster than ever before. And with Continued Conversation, you can make several requests in a row without having to say “Hey Google” each time.
The next generation Assistant is coming to new Pixel phones later this year, and we can’t wait for you to try it out.Google Blog
I don’t see whether the Google Home / Google Mini devices have enough on-board storage to handle this, but it might be the first real step toward some sort of assured Assistant privacy.
Hey Google, Let’s Drive
A new driving mode is coming to assistant that puts everything you might need at your fingertips, or voice activated.
This is previewing today, but officially coming this summer. Asking assistant to do this current is bringing interesting mixed results for me so maybe it’s somewhat out there.
If a call comes in, the Assistant will tell you who’s calling and ask if you want to answer, so you can pick up or decline with just your voice. Assistant’s driving mode will launch automatically when your phone is connected to your car’s bluetooth or just say, “Hey Google, let’s drive,” to get started.
Hey Google, no .. hey google… HEY GOOGLE STOP
Starting today you’re supposed to be able to just say “stop” when a timer is going off. The stop routine runs entirely on device and doesn’t have to hit the cloud and bounce back.[Google Blog]