Google’s Voice Assistant Due To Launch Q4, Drops Majel Name In Favor Of “Assistant” [Rumor]

Google has been working on a voice assistant service similar to Apple’s Siri and last we heard it was going to be called Majel (named after the woman who provided the voice of the Federation Computer on Star Trek). According to the latest rumors, that name seems to have been dropped in favor of the simpler “Assistant.” This information comes via an unnamed source who spoke with TechCrunch about the project. The project, which is being led by the Android team along with the help of search engineer Amit Singhal, is expected to launch Q4 and includes three core layers to achieve its goals:

  1. Get the world’s knowledge into a format a computer can understand.
  2. Create a personalization layer — Experiments like Google +1 and Google+ are Google’s way of gathering data on precisely how people interact with content.
  3. Build a mobile, voice-centered “Do engine” (‘Assistant’) that’s less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals.

Unlike Apple with Siri, Google plans to allow developers to integrate “Assistant” into their apps, bringing an entirely new level of interaction. Google is apparently extremely committed to this “Do engine,” and it will be curious to see how they differentiate themselves from Siri. I’ve been quite proud of Google’s voice actions — which have been around before anyone ever even heard of Siri — and I’d be a bit disappointed if they simply turned them into a Siri clone.

Google certainly has the advantage when it comes to information and search, so whatever they decide to do, you can bet it will be proficient. If we’re to see “Assistant” launched this year, I’d expect it to be unveiled at Google I/O in June, along with the possibility of Jelly Bean. You better start getting used to the idea of speaking to your electronics because that seems to be where we’re headed.