Google Assistant is getting parental controls. Here’s how they work.

Google Assistant is getting parental controls. Here’s how they work.


the first time after Its 2016 launchThe Google Assistant is getting parental controls.

You probably Think talkative virtual assistant, Which the company says is used by 700 million people a month, was already something. google for years has allowed parents to give children Assistive access through its Family Link app, but offered relatively few restrictions.

In Over the next few weeks, when these devices come to your smart speaker, screen or watch, you’ll be able to restrict Prevents children from making calls, asking for music and video from specific sources, and interacting with specific assistive devices. And for moments when their attention needs to be focused elsewhere, you can set a “downtime” period when the assistant won’t respond.

These new tools debuted last week for Google Assistant-powered devices, including products the company didn’t make itself. There’s one notable exception: Google Assistant on smartphones won’t get these updates because the company doesn’t consider them a “shared” device.

Parental controls are just the beginning. In the coming weeks, those tools will also get features to communicate more effectively with young people, such as a new dictionary proposal. Kid-Friendly Definitions When baby responds to voice he recognizes and makes new sounds Speak more slowly and clearly.

“Allows the use of technology and especially sound equipment in the home [children] Engage them in their curiosities to learn new things, tap into their creative and inquisitive minds without looking at the screen,” Google Assistant Senior Director of Product Management said in an interview.

To Change Google Privacy Settings Now

Allowing your kids to use Google Assistant with these new features requires a few steps.

First, you need to create a Google account for them. (do it Using the company’s Family Link app, because you’ll need it again later.) Again, add your baby voice for your smart home devices, so Google The assistant can give appropriate feedback. Finally, in Family Link, go to Controls → Content Restrictions → Google Assistant → Parental Controls to start setting limits,

Meanwhile, changing the Assistant volume or accessing Kids Dictionary is easy – just ask your smart speaker to do it.

Google isn’t the only company trying to make its virtual assistant more accessible to young people. Amazon, the company’s biggest rival in the smart speaker market, launches its first wave of kid-friendly Alexa skills summer of 2017, Since then it has sold versions of its cheap Echo Dot speakers that resemble cute tigers, penguins and dragons. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.)

Although a pandemic surge in sales of smart-home devices has begun to subside, data from research firm IDC shows that shipments of smart speakers will continue to grow – if only slightly – between now and 2026. That means more opportunities for Google and Amazon to present themselves to a younger generation of users, and continued questions about the role of voice assistants in homes with children.

In an article published online for the journal Archives of Disease in ChildhoodResearchers wondered whether people’s brief, transactional interactions with services such as Alexa and Google Assistant would inhibit children’s ability to develop certain social characteristics.

“In normal human interactions, a child typically receives constructive feedback if they behave inappropriately, which is beyond the scope of a smart device,” said Anmol Arora, co-author of the article. Press release,

Ask the Help Desk: Smart speakers can get sluggish after learning your voice

From his perch at Google, Shodzai said that in some of those cases, kids already understand that they shouldn’t talk to their parents the same way they would a product. Since launch, the company has also added features to reinforce good manners – in late 2018, it updated the assistant with a new “pretty please” mode, where requests that include “please” or “thank you” included, will receive a grateful response. ,

Since then, Google hasn’t disclosed plans to change the way Assistant responds to politics — or lack thereof — but Shodzai says it’s something they’re “looking into.”

But what about the risk of a child wondering about their relationship with a system like Google Assistant? For some kids — including Shodzai’s own niece — their first meaningful exposure to technology is through voice assistants around the house. Can the addition of new, more engaging voices create a notion of friendship? Or something more family?

Based on the studies he observed, Shodzai is confident that “children understand the difference between talking to a human versus a digital system.” Still, he acknowledged that it’s a matter that needs to be closely monitored over time, especially given how much more Google wants to refine the Assistant. Work on growing up.

“If we look further, let’s say five, 10, 20 years down the road, we envision a helper who is even more intelligent, even more capable, even more personal, who helps you more actively. does,” he said.

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