Here’s how to use the new kid-friendly features – Gizbot News
oi-Alap Naik Desai
Smart speakers with voice-activated virtual assistants are very popular. It’s now common to see users of all ages searching for information, interacting, playing games, and even engaging in conversation with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. However, there is an imminent risk that children will be exposed to inappropriate content. While Alexa has had parental controls and kid-friendly features for a while, Google just added this feature. The search giant has come up with a few more ways its virtual assistant can interact with kids in a way they’ll understand and enjoy.
Google Assistant gets parental controls
Google confirmed yesterday that it is bringing parental controls to its Google Assistant platform. The much-needed feature will gradually roll out to Google Assistant apps on iOS and Android platforms, Google Home, and Family Link.
In the future, parents, adults, or guardians may limit or even disable access to certain features offered by default by Assistant. Additionally, parents can adjust downtimes, which will silence the assistant and prevent it from answering questions or playing music when kids control the device.
Restrictions and limitations seem to be the two highest priority aspects in new contexts. Parental Controls will allow parents to control and configure default services. For example, parents can block children from making calls or using Google Actions through smart speakers.
Additionally, guardians can restrict what content children can access through the virtual assistant. Users can limit access to YouTube Kids for video and Spotify Kids for music, using parental controls. Additionally, children may be blocked from listening to news and podcasts. A “Basic” setting will attempt to filter out mature content.
Google Assistant gets kid-friendly features and content
Although Google’s virtual assistant parental controls seem restrictive, the company has offered plenty of kid-friendly features and activities.
Google has added “Kids Dictionary”, a feature that will ensure that Google Assistant provides more age-appropriate answers. Interestingly, the voice-activated assistant will recognize a child’s voice using voice matching capabilities and automatically switch to the children’s dictionary. Afterward, Google Assistant will respond with simpler, easier-to-understand information. These can include age-appropriate explanations, definitions, and more.
Google Assistant is also getting four new kid-friendly voices. These will not imitate a child’s voice but will speak a bit slower and add a lot more vocal expression. It seems Google wants its Assistant to be better at storytelling and helping kids understand.
Google has assured that parental controls and new child-friendly features will work on smart speakers, smart displays and mobile devices. These features can be configured, changed or disabled through supported apps. Parents can even invoke Assistant settings via voice commands such as “Hey Google, open Assistant settings” or “Hey Google, change your voice”. The rollout of these features is gradual and therefore some devices may get the features sooner than others.
Interestingly, Google was a bit late in introducing such features. Amazon has offered parental controls for its virtual assistant Alexa quite a while ago. Additionally, Amazon has been actively adding kid-friendly features. It looks like Google is now catching up.
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