Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt. Photo credit: Ben Mack
Technology giant Google has announced that the Google Assistant has been launched in Saudi Arabia, where it will be able to understand Saudi dialect and answer in standard dialect.
The virtual assistant will be available of Android and iOS devices. It will also be available in Egypt, where users will be able to converse with it in Egyptian dialect.
“The Google Assistant brings together all of the technology and smarts we’ve been building for years,” said Tarek Abdalla, regional director of marketing at Google Middle East and North Africa. “With the Google Assistant, you can talk or text with Google in a natural way, helping you get more done in your everyday life.”
“This is the latest in a series of features we launched for our Arabic-speaking users and the Assistant will only get better with time as it learns with the help of machine learning,” he added
The assistant is designed to help internet users accomplish tasks such as driving or exercising while on the move or at work, such as setting alarms or searching for information on the web.
It is also able to do ‘fun things’ and answers questions such as “do you love me?” drawing on iconic cultural moments such as lays, viral videos, or even ancient Arabic poetry. It can also tell jokes and sing.
Users can activate the system by ensuring they have the latest version of their mobile operating system available and that their language is set to Arabic. After downloading the Google app and activating the assistant, they can choose between Saudi or Egyptian Arabic.
Launched in the US in 2016, the Google Assistant is now available on more than one billion devices worldwide.