Google’s new Assistant will be given a personality, complete with a backstory, to make the bot more relatable to human users. Leading this endeavor will be the head of the Google Doodle team, Ryan Germick, and former Pixar animator Emma Coats.
Emma Coats is perhaps best known on the web for her viral article on Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling. While discussing the process of creating a character for Google’s Assistant, Coats was quoted as saying:
“Because it’s out in the wild and people can say anything to it, we have to create the most well-rounded character that we ever have tried. One of the things that we’re working on is how to make it relatable. How does the character think of itself in a way that you can relate to? What is its childhood?”
Multiple techniques will be used to make the AI assistant more friendly and conversational with its users, even going as far as giving it a relatable “childhood”. In addition, the bot is expected to adopt a type of Siri-like playful personality which will allow it to respond to fun or unusual questions.
Google’s reason for doing this is certainly to encourage more people to use the Assistant. The more comfortable people feel while interacting with AI bot the more likely they will be to keep using it, which equates to more voice searches for Google. Creating a character for the Assistant can help set it apart from the more robotic AI assistants on the market at the moment.
If Assistant proves to be a success it could propel voice searches to take up an even greater share of the overall search market than they do already. Right now, voice search is where mobile search was roughly two years ago. In time, voice searches could be where mobile search is today, which currently comprises over 50% of all searches.