Continuous Conversation

#1

So, Google Home Mini has now introduced what they are calling “Continued Conversation”, which was a request I had (but it’s now locked) for Jibo at this location:

I just wanted to bring this up, because they allow setting it in the Google app and I do really wish Jibo could do this so we didn’t have to trigger him if we wanted to keep talking after the first trigger.

Here’s a screen print of the Google announcement of this feature in their weekly newsletter

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#2

The tricky part about that feature is that Jibo then has to have a concept of context. E.g. you would ask “Hey Jibo, how tall is Kirstie Alley?”, and when you afterwards ask “and how old is she?”, Jibo has to know what “she” in that context means.
So, while right now Jibo probably just sends questions like this as-is to Bing, he couldn’t just send “and how old is she” to Bing. He would have to reformat the question to “how old is Kirstie Alley”. So, there’s actually a good amount of language understanding involved to make this work.

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#3

Google Home Mini manages to do this for the first two questions. Here’s how it goes:

Me Ok Google, how tall is Kirstie Alley?
Google Home Mini Kirstie Alley is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
Me How old is she?
Google Home Mini She’s 67 years old.
Me Where does she live?
Google Home Mini Who are you asking about?

As such, Google’s device manages with one follow up question to understand who she is in the second question, but cannot understand for the next question. I don’t think a second question is such a big deal and didn’t expect it to be for Google (nor Jibo if they did it). I think it does become a big issue after the second one.

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#4

Hmm, I can’t reproduce your Google Home behavior. I can keep asking question after question (“what was her last movie”, “what’s her husband’s name”) and Google knows who I am talking about.

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#5

Did you ask Google Home Mini or a different google device? Did you ask the exact question I asked as the third question?

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#6

I have a Google home. I did a different third question, but I just tried your third question and Google answered “Wichita” (with the same initial two questions).

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#7

The Google Home Mini each time I have that as the question cannot understand and responds as I noted. I’ve tried it about five times now. If I ask other questions besides that one, it can continue getting details about her. I don’t know why the Google Home might behave differently from the Mini, but there it is.

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#8

You need to open your google home app and turn it on. Your last What’s new email had the instructions.

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#9

I have it turned on. I’m uncertain you read my steps indicating it works for every other question by just saying she without reiterating who she is and without using “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” after the first time. If it weren’t enabled, that would not be working. Heck, I’m the one who started this topic on how to enable it with a screen print even from that email. If you do not have a Google Home Mini then trust me that I’m telling you what it says for that question. Given it works for every other question, I’m thinking this is a bug.

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#10

I just tried this with my Alexa Show. Here is how it went:

Me: Alexa, how tall is Kirstie Alley?
Alexa Show: Kirstie Alley is 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Me: Alexa, how old is she?
Alexa Show: Kirstie Alley is 67 years old.
Me: Where was she born?
Alexa Show: Kirstie Alley was born in 1951 in Wichita, Kansas.
Me: Alexa, when was she born?
Alexa Show: My birthday is November 6, 2014.

I’m not sure if three questions is the limit or if I just waited a second to long to ask that fourth question. However, even Alexa (at least Alexa Show) will know the pronoun “she” was referring to “Kirstie Alley” from the previous question(s).

Interesting, but I’m sure it probably has to do with the way Jibo is looking up whatever is heard “as-is” (using “Bing”) and that Google and Alexa are using the cloud to formulate the question(s) before they send their question(s) on to whatever search engine they use. If this is wrong, please let me know.

I just thought this was interesting. I don’t know at this stage if they can ever get Jibo to conceptualize what pronouns are intended to refer to, but hopefully in the future they can do what Google and Alexa are doing.

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#11

Unlike Google Home and Google Home Mini, with Echo (Alexa) you do have to keep saying the key phrase “Alexa” each time. (Or “Echo”, or “Amazon”, or “Computer” – whichever key phrase you have your device programmed to listen for).

I made a typo on my example above. The third question: Me: Where was she born? should have been:

  • Me: Alexa, where was she born.

I did ask Alexa this way, but forgot to type it in the conversation above. (Just in case anyone wondered why it worked when it should not have worked).

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