Skip to main content

Google is using machine learning to make alarm tones based on the time and weather

Google is using machine learning to make alarm tones based on the time and weather


Coming first to the Lenovo Smart Clock

Share this story

Image: Google

Google has an update that might make you hate your alarm a little bit less: a new feature lets it automatically change up what your alarm plays based on the time of day and the weather, theoretically playing something slightly more appropriate than the same awful song you hear day in and out. At least, it’ll be nice as long as you’re okay with waking up to AI-generated piano.

The feature is confined to a single device for now: Lenovo’s Smart Clock, a small smart display that basically has the functionality of a Google Home Mini paired with a screen that can show the time and weather. Google says this feature — which it calls “Impromptu” — is part of Google Assistant, though, which suggests it should reach other smart displays, and perhaps even phones, in the future. The announcement doesn’t say when or whether it’ll expand, however.

Google says all of the music is created and chosen by Magenta, an open-source music tool built around machine learning that Google has been creating. In a blog post, Google says the system might select this song if the weather is below 50 degrees (I’m assuming Fahrenheit) and early in the morning. I don’t know exactly what about this song says cool and pre-dawn, but I’d be down to listen to anything other than the default alarm tone that I’ve heard every day for years.

The feature is rolling out globally today to Lenovo’s device. The smart clock, which used to retail for $80, now appears to be down to $50, making it a lot more competitive with Amazon’s $60 Echo Show 5.