Google’s New Software Lets You Navigate The Internet With Your Voice

Google’s New Software Lets You Navigate The Internet With Your Voice

Google builds a modern day tower of Babel to power unbelievable voice search software.

Stephen Fortune
  • 7 april 2011

Google appears to be on the vanguard of vocal interfacing with computers and smart phones. Their latest voice recognition roll out makes massive strides towards seamless vocal detection software. It offers a host of features which will astound anyone who has struggled with the cumbersome traditional software of vocal recognition applications. In addition to quicksilver response times, it also works with multiple languages:

Android’s Translate app (also available for the iPhone) will not only convert your English into spoken French (among several other languages) but also has a “conversation mode” that will translate the French waiter’s response back into English. And if that’s not enough, Android lets you dictate your e-mail and text messages, too.

The software’s impressive recognition ratio is a result of two areas in which Google excels: cloud computing and colossal data banks. By outsourcing the computation and statistical analysis of your voice to one of it’s gigantic server farms the speed of service Google’s software offers is unparalleled at present (especially so in terms of portable computing devices). But the success rate of it’s vocal translation service is more indebted to Google’s ability to make gold from data banks.

Speech recognition is one of Google’s artificial intelligence programs that gets its power by analyzing impossibly huge troves of information. For the speech system, the data are a large number of voice recordings. If you’ve used Android’s speech recognition system, Google Voice’s e-mail transcription service, Goog411 (a now-defunct information service), or some other Google speech-related service, there’s a good chance that the company has your voice somewhere on its servers. And it’s only because Google has your voice—and millions of others—that it can recognize mine.

As amazing as this application is in terms of future potential, it also raises interesting questions about the massive data banks of the population’s voice which are in Google’s possession.

Google Translate

Slate: “Google has developed speech-recognition technology that actually works”


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