Google on Monday announced that Google Assistant, its artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant, is now available in Vietnamese, allowing people to interact with their Android devices using their native language.
iOS users have to wait a few days before they can experience Google Assistant in Vietnamese, Ha Lam Tu Quynh, director of communications and public relations at Google Asia Pacific, told a launch event attended by around 200 journalists and tech writers in Ho Chi Minh City.
Google Assistant is a ready-to-help personal assistant, letting users search the Internet, schedule events and alarms or do things on their devices through natural voice communication in Vietnamese.
Vietnamese users can also check the weather, ask for Google Maps directions or Google Translate translations, play songs on YouTube, and even ask Google Assistant to tell jokes, among a litany of other queries and requests.
Google Assistant’s program manager Elin Barnes said the virtual assistant’s artificial intelligence is capable of learning new things and preferences from its users, as well as understanding different accents of the Vietnamese language, over time.
As of today, Google Assistant is available in 36 languages on one billion mobile devices, Barnes said at the event.
Asked why Vietnamese, a language that is not really common in the world, was added to the list of supported languages by Google Assistant, the program manager said the question is not ‘Why?’ but ‘Why not?’
“Vietnam has a large population of young, tech-savvy users who are always willing to try the new things,” she explained.
Barnes said the Vietnamese-speaking Google Assistant is not immediately a perfect product, as it is only “one day old” in Vietnam.
“It is like a baby that will learn new things and improve over time,” she said.
“We appreciate all feedback from users to help improve the product.”
Android users in Vietnam can try the new personal assistant by upgrading their mobile devices with the latest Android version, while Google Assistant will be available for iOS users in the next few days.