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Google’s latest update makes the playback feature less functional

You may already be dependent on Google Assistant’s ease if you’ve begun to use its read-aloud feature. You can use this function to ask your device to read aloud material so you can multitask and understand it. Users aren’t happy, though, as it appears like Google suddenly disabled the most important feature.

A recent update from @ArtemR on X (formerly Twitter) on November 14th clarified the effects of a change to Read Aloud that makes the playback feature less functional. They list a few issues, such as the inability to tap on a word to have Read Aloud start reading that word at that precise moment. In addition, your gadget will stop reading if you shift over to another app while playingback.

It remains to be seen if this problem will be fixed. If a solution isn’t offered, it might increase the value of tools like Google’s AI-powered summary generator. In July 2023, it was initially announced that the generator was under construction. A Summarize button and Read command would appear when you queued up Assistant in Chrome or another in-app browser. The assistant could then read aloud and summarize a webpage with ease by utilizing generative AI.

A comparable tool is currently available in Google Docs; however, users have expressed doubts regarding the quality of these automatically created summaries. Google has continued to incorporate these AI technologies into YouTube despite this. Recently, an experiment started examining how AI could categorize and summarize comments on YouTube videos. A chatbot like Bing is also being tested to see whether it can assist in responding to viewer inquiries while playback is happening. The bot might also be able to offer more videos, provide summaries, and queue for tests to go along with educational material.

The question of whether the next improvements will have the same effect on summary generators as Read Aloud currently arises with all these features in mind. If this is the case, some users may be discouraged from using these functions; for example, individuals who wish to utilize other applications in addition to Read Aloud may decide not to use the feature at all. Comparable features can then be seen as superfluous, inconvenient, or plain untrustworthy.

In general, Google has been investigating novel approaches to employing AI in the creation of fresh features for all platforms. Whether you use YouTube, Google Assistant, or Chrome exclusively, there’s probably an AI-powered function that will be available on a device near you soon. The benefit to your overall user experience, though, will probably be minimal and subject to change at any time.