Google's Assistant will sing 'Happy Birthday' to users without needing to be told to do it. According to Reddit user "estish14," the feature was discovered when Assistant was asked to tell them about their day. Since it was their birthday, the A.I. helper proceeded to say "Today is your birthday! Happy birthday!" immediately following the local weather report. Then it sang the standard Happy Birthday song, replacing the user's name with "the most amazing person in the whole world."
In hindsight, the feature seems as though it would be – or should be – fairly standard for any digital assistant that's running on A.I. algorithms and is able to recognize individual users by voice. Beyond that, what etish14's story really seems to highlight is the human touches Google has been adding to its Assistant over time. The user in question even says that Assistant managed to commence with the ceremonial singing before their own mother had gotten around to it – by a full 40 minutes. Coupled with the fact that it did so without any more prompting than a user asking about their day shows an insightful touch on Google's part as well. It is, after all, easy enough to ask Google Assistant to sing Happy Birthday via a simple request. However, it's undoubtedly much more impactful when A.I.-driven systems do something that's ordinarily related to human culture as a surprise rather than needing to be asked to do it.
That's without consideration for the much wider variety of all-too-human responses various companies have enabled their A.I. to use. However, it's easy to see why people have become so attached over the past year or so – although perhaps a bit less understandable are the more than 450,000 marriage proposals made to the software in India back in April. It goes without saying that there are and will probably always be concerns relating to privacy and safety with A.I. platforms. Having said that, the growth of those platforms, as experienced over the past year, will almost certainly continue as long as Google and others keep improving functionality and helping users to have a feel-good start to their day.