Why Amazon Echo And Google Home Can’t Tell Who’s Talking–Yet
By: Fast Company
Conversations with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are supposed to be personal. In a promo video for the Google Home connected speaker, for instance, a husband and wife ask the omnipresent AI about their respective agendas for the day, and get individualized answers in return.
But that’s not how Home and Amazon’s Echo speaker work in the real world today. When someone speaks, neither company’s virtual assistant can detect who’s talking. Echo requires an extra step of switching profiles to get personalized information, and offers no verification aside from an optional PIN for making Amazon purchases. Google Home doesn’t support multiple profiles at all.
It’s safe to assume Amazon and Google are interested in identifying users by the sound of their voices. A report last week by Time‘s Lisa Eadicicco even suggested that Amazon has been developing voice identification for Alexa, though the story gave no timeline and didn’t say that the feature would actually launch. According to the companies that make voice recognition hardware and software, getting these connected speakers to understand who’s talking is trickier than it might seem.