Google Assistant random activation bug, voice issues reported

Google assistant on iphoneKaufdex / Pixabay

Google Assistant has been causing problems for many users lately, and the issues seem to be largely one of two varieties. There’s a Google Assistant random activation bug which involves the digital assistant turning on by itself when “OK, Google” was never said. The other issue involves the voices that are used for commands. Some users are reporting that responses will be given in multiple voices and accents.

Google Assistant random activation bug annoys users

Several posts about the Google Assistant random activation bug has been shared over social media. This Reddit thread states that although the digital assistant never used to turn on by itself, it now happens about once a day. Several other Redditors responded to say that often Google Assistant activates when the wake word was never spoken. Some even said that the digital assistant turns on when nothing is said at all. Those responding to this Reddit thread appear to be using a range of handsets and other devices.

This Reddit thread also seems to be referring to the Google Assistant random activation bug. The original poster wanted to know if there was a way to keep their phone from listening to everything they say.

Twitter has also been filling up with complaints about the Google Assistant random activation bug. Here’s one of the tweets:

However, there are many other tweets about the bug, like this one and this one, although we could post many more tweets about it. Google essentially has a privacy concern on its hands because Assistant appears to be listening all the time, even when the wake word has not been spoken.

Multiple voices being used

PiunikaWeb also spotted another interesting issue with Google Assistant. Sometimes when the digital assistant responds, it does so in two or three different voices. There’s a very lengthy thread about this problem on Google’s support forums here.

For example, the original poster on that thread said they went into settings and chose a personalized male voice, but sometimes Assistant switches between a “robotic sounding female voice” and the voice they chose under settings.

One person responded with a very interesting and somewhat hilarious tidbit that’s sure to get some people upset. The person said that on their Pixel 3XL, sometimes they hear a male voice, and sometimes a female voice. However, what makes their case so interesting is that sometimes the male voice can’t do what they ask because it “doesn’t know how to do that yet,” but the female voice can usually do what they ask.

Someone else said they have a similar issue, but the difference is in the accent. The British-sounding voice can do almost anything they ask, but the voice that speaks with American English usually can’t do anything.

Given the length of the thread, it appears that this problem is just as widespread as the Google Assistant random activation bug.

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About the Author

Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Michelle has been with ValueWalk since 2012 and is now our editor-in-chief. Email her at

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