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“Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” makes Google Assistant stop listening

If you have a Google Home smart speaker plugged in, you’ll know that its non-stop listening can sometimes lead to false positives. Somehow, smart speakers can hear their wake words in the most mundane things, interrupting conversations and then giving you some irrelevant information gleaned from the bits it overheard in error.

Droid Life has discovered that there’s a way of cutting this off – at least with Google Assistant. If you spot that your Google Home speaker’s lights have flashed on, then you can tell Google Assistant to butt out. Just say “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you” and the speaker will immediately go back to sleep.

Related: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Crucially, it doesn’t just stop listening – it immediately erases what it just heard, so it’s no longer on record. If you check your account’s activity history, it’ll be like nothing was ever said.

This isn’t the only way to tell Google Assistant to forget what it’s heard. As Google’s own support page says, you can ask Google to delete the last conversation, a day’s worth of activity or a whole week’s worth if you want. Although in terms of what Google knows about you, in the greater scheme of things this really is just a drop in the ocean.     

Related: Alexa vs Google Assistant

Accidental activations of smart speakers are irritating – but it could be a lot worse during the festive season where adverts go into overdrive. The Verge reports that Amazon has a clever way of preventing Echos responding to adverts – believed to be recorded at a frequency that tips your smart speaker off, so it doesn’t respond. 

Of course, it doesn’t work if a TV show wants to deliberately trigger your smart speaker for the writers’ own amusement… 

Does your smart speaker constantly respond to nothing? Echo or Google Home, let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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