How to Change Settings on the Samsung Galaxy S 5’s S-Voice

By Bill Hughes

You can change many settings on the Samsung Galaxy S 5’s S-Voice. Rather than investigate all of them, let’s investigate two: the wake up command and the primary S-Voice screen.

The first of these examples changes the wake-up command. The default is “Hi, Galaxy.” Boring. You can change it to any phrase with four or more syllables.

You may as well have some fun with this. S-Voice is your servant. You can name it anything, such as the name of your former gym teacher, a cheating partner, or the love of your life who got away. You get to tell call it what you want and tell it what to do.

Follow the directions in Set Wake-Up Command. It takes you to a new screen and asks you to record your voice saying what you want as your new wake-up command.

Another option you have is on the primary S-Voice screen. Click the S-Voice icon (found at the bottom of the primary S-Voice screen) to turn off the female voice that talks back to you. If you do so, you only see typed responses to you questions and requests.

Some people are annoyed at being talked to by a computer. If you are among that crowd, just let S-Voice know that you prefer silence by tapping that icon.

Among computer scientists, S-Voice is called an intelligent agent.

S-Voice is a pretty darn good implementation of intelligent-agent technology. It’s about as good as you can get when you’re using many of the basic functions of your Galaxy S 5. The list of things you can do with S-Voice includes a pretty long list of the primary capabilities.

Even so, the truth is that this technology is not perfected yet. If you don’t want to use an intelligent agent until it’s perfected, no one could blame you. Before you dismiss this function as a gimmick, however, here are a few things to think about:

  • Normal speech communicates ideas at about 150 words per minute.

  • A fast typist can type at 40 words per minute.

  • In handwriting, most people can write 30 words per minute.

These data show that you may be better off if you can adjust our expectations of asking computers to do things for you by speaking to them. If you use S-Voice for standard commands, it performs remarkably fast and accurately. You will get to say to your grandkids that you were among the pioneers who used intelligent agents before it was mainstream.

As long as evil intelligent agent, HAL, from 2001: A Space Odyssey never comes to pass, it’s likely that this technology will become increasingly pervasive.