Issa Rae Lends Her Voice to Google Assistant; Rolling out Today

Yolanda Curtis
October 10, 2019

"That is the million dollar question for me", she said, when asked if she would be heeding her own words regularly. The writer, actress, and producer is best known for her YouTube series "Awkward Black Girl" and starring in HBO's "Insecurities" series.

Legend was the first celebrity to lend his voice to the Google Assistant earlier this year. They will also hear some iconic Issa Rae phrases and motivational encouragement that can easily make anyone's day better.

Like the voice of John Legend that arrived in April, you can get responses from Issa to typical requests like.

Rae's voice is available to answer your questions for a limited time in English in the U.S. on any device with Google Assistant - smart speakers like the Google Home, smart displays like the Google Home Hub and smartphones.

"Hey Google, Do I need an umbrella today?" "One of the most fun days was just being myself - I give people compliments", she said.

Google promises some surprises when you ask "Hey Google, do you have any dating advice?" or "Hey Google, are you a writer?"

While this news is a dream come true to fans, it is also one for Rae who's been using Google Assistant for a while now. Rae's cameo voice is available on any device that has the Google Assistant, including Google Home speakers, smart displays like the new Nest Hub Max, and on mobile for Android and iOS. The John Legend voice is still available as of this morning, but Google has been clear these cameos are for a limited time only.

"I mean, you're just always scared", she said, another amused laugh escaping.

The actress recently told Refinery29 that she has a Google Home in her trailer and constantly uses it for work and scheduling. Said Rae, "I am a big pumper-upper". "I'm also big on music, and obviously it links to Spotify, which I use every single day, nearly every hour, so it's really helpful to be able to use it there". Travel plans, things like that.

To bring her voice to Google Assistant, the tech giant used its speech-synthesis technology, WaveNet, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze speech patterns and then generates audio based on text input.

"I'm going back and forth. So you're like, 'Oh, I've never actually had to say this word out loud, '" she said. "I'm definitely going to give it a shot and see what it sounds like - and I want to discover those Issa eggs".

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