It looks like Google Assistant powered-devices are responding to a new voice command. The supposed voice command is the latest internet slang “Ok Boomer”. For context, this term has gone viral on the internet while turning into a new catchphrase for Generation Z. This term pokes fun at the baby boomer generation. For the uninitiated, the baby boomer generation refers to people born between 1946 and 1964. Generation Z is using this term to dismiss or mock the narrow-minded, outdated, negative, and condescending attitude of older people. The term has also turned into a popular meme online.
Google Assistant commands
Getting back to the new Google Assistant command, a number of users on Reddit and YouTube observed this behavior. Taking a closer look, multiple reports indicated that Google Assistant is responding to “Ok Boomer”, and “Hey Boomer”. This is likely on brand for Google to be on top of the internet culture. However, there is an obvious yet hidden problem present in the case. To begin with, Google has not rolled out any new Assistant hot words. As per a report from Forbes, Google clarified that this is likely a false alarm.
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A spokesperson confirmed that Assistant-powered device is likely triggering due to an error in interpretation. This means the digital assistant is interpreting Ok Boomer as Ok Google and Hey Boomer as Hey Google. The incorrect interpretation is likely happening because of ambient noise or words in the background.
Google did clarify that it has some algorithmic rules in place to stop accidental activation. However, both Google and Boomer contain a similar “oo” sound. This similarity makes it difficult for the algorithm to differentiate. Reports also highlighted other hot words like “egg noodle” and “poodle” that activate Google Assistant. The company is continuously working on improving its voice detection and interpretation algorithms with the help of machine learning.