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This article was published on May 8, 2018


Google Assistant puts an end to impolite queries with ‘Pretty Please’ feature

Are voice assistants raising a generation of rude brats?

Google Assistant puts an end to impolite queries with ‘Pretty Please’ feature
Matthew Hughes
Story by

Matthew Hughes

Former TNW Reporter

Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.

Most parents teach their kids to ask for things in a way that’s polite. To say “please” and “thank you.” You know — your P’s and Q’s. But are voice assistants undermining that?

Maybe. We’re pretty bossy when it comes to Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant. I mean, when was the last time you said “please” to a voice assistant? Exactly.

To address this, Google has introduced something into Google Assistant called Pretty Please. It’s pretty much what it sounds like. If you turn this feature on, Google Assistant will remain mute until you say “please.”

Google Assistant then throws in some positive reinforcement. If you remember to say the magic word, it’ll then compliment you on your manners, saying things like “thanks for saying please,” “you’re very polite,” and “what a nice way to ask me.”

This is a welcome development. Google has placed a lot of emphasis on making its voice assistants sound natural and human. To a younger user, the distinction between Google Assistant’s Holly and a real-life human being is probably more blurred than we think.

Google plans to launch Pretty Please as an option later this year. And yes, it’s free. Manners cost nothing, you know?

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