Tag Archives | Voice Recognition

Rumor: Android’s Answer to Siri is Coming Soon

Siri, the virtual assistant built into Apple’s iPhone 4S, seemed to catch competitors off guard. But all along, Google has reportedly been working on its own voice-controlled assistant for Android phones that responds to natural language.

The project is apparently codenamed Majel, and may see an initial release by the end of this year, Android and Me reports, based on unnamed sources. The codename is a reference to the Federation Computer in Star Trek, whose full name is voiced by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry.

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Dragon Go! Voice Search for iPhone is Surprisingly Intelligent

The other day I received a package, or I should say what in hindsight seems a waste of one: a large box, inside which lay a jumbo-sized cardboard egg, from within which I plucked a tiny rectangular piece of colored paper slightly larger than a business card. On the card, a picture of an iPhone, a greenish tongue of flame, and the words “Introducing…. Dragon Go!”

This is apparently someone’s savvy marketing idea to get my attention (or squander cardboard), perhaps hoping to conjure some latent connection to the dragon eggs featured in HBO’s recently completed (and as of today, multi-Emmy-nominated) first season of Game of Thrones. Intentional or no, I’m making my way through the HBO series now, and here I am, writing about Dragon Go!. Mission accomplished, outsourced PR person!

Dragon, as many of you may know, is the call sign for a suite of speech-recognition tools, the forerunner of which, DragonDictate, was released in the early 1980s for DOS. It’s since been recognized as perhaps the most accurate of the consumer-grade speech recognition utilities (at one point, employed as a computer systems engineer, I provided tech support to a quadriplegic who used Dragon Naturally Speaking—as it was called by 1997—to run his entire home office).

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Where’s the Voice?

And a bonus WWDC question #1: what happened to the voice recognition–provided through technology from the Siri app which Apple acquired last year and/or a partnership with Nuance–which was allegedly going to be part of iOS 5?


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AT&T Labs Mashes Up Voice, TV, Gestures, and Twitter

“Watching TV is supposed to be fun, right?” asked AT&T’s Michael Johnston. In a press event at the AT&T Labs in New York City, Johnston and other researchers showed off  iRemote, Talkalytics, and dozens of other projects now under way for using AT&T’s long-time Watson speech recognition together with search, gestures, and Twitter analysis.

With all the hundreds of TV channels available today, it can be harder than ever to figure out what to watch, Johnston observed. But through a new iRemote app currently in development, you can speak voice commands into a smartphone to get an immediate list of “all reality shows on Thursday night”–and other categories of TV programs small enough to easily digest — on your TV screen.

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Goodbye (and Good Riddance), 1-800-GOOG-411

In announcing the imminent end of 1-800-GOOG-411, a free by-phone directory service, Google got sentimental and called the service an “old friend.” I couldn’t be happier to see it go.

For me, the announcement served mainly as a reminder that GOOG-411 existed in the first place. Sure, I knew about it, but owning a smartphone pretty much renders 411 services obsolete. Looking up a business on the Internet is faster, and delivers better results.

For kicks, I just used GOOG-411, which won’t shut down until November 12, to look up my favorite bagel shop in Los Angeles. The automated directory took a minute to deliver results, and Google didn’t even have the eatery in its listings. Yelp does, so when I conducted a voice search with Google’s mobile app, finding the information among plain old search results took half the time.

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20 Hilarious Google Voice Transcription Bloopers, Flubs, and Fails

If Google Voice is the Swiss Army knife of call management services, speech-to-text voicemail transcription is the questionable nail file. Google Voice’s transcription failures are well-documented around the Internet–entire Web sites are dedicated to these follies. They’re more amusing than frustrating, provided you’ve got a sense of humor. Fascinated with Google Voice’s brand of surreal humor, I set out to find the best (worst) Google Voice transcription errors. I found them around the Web, and collected more from the Technologizer comunity, including our founder. Read on for some examples of why Google Voice transcription still has a very, very long way to go.

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Google Gives Android Better Voice Input, Chrome Connectivity

A couple of thousand folks–many of who were clearly hardcore Android enthusiasts–hung out with me this morning as I liveblogged Google’s mobile event. Before the event got underway, some of them shared their hopes about what it would cover: Android Market improvements, new handsets, integrated FaceTime-style videochat, and more.

Google didn’t announce any of that stuff. But it did roll out two new app/services, one of which it first previewed back at its Google I|O conference in May.

The brand new item is an addition to Android’s voice-recognition features called Voice Actions. The OS already lets you talk to perform Google searches and dictate text into any app that accepts keyboard app–and now you can speak commands to send texts, pull up maps, make phone calls, send yourself notes in the form of e-mails addressed to yourself, and more.

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Vlingo: A New Way to Talk to Your iPhone

vlingoWe have an iPhone mini-trend on our hands: voice-controlled search. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Google’ clever Mobile App for the iPhone, which lets you perform Web and local searches by lifting the handset to your ear and talking. Today. Vlingo, the developers of a BlackBerry voice app, released a version for the iPhone. It’s both a direct competitor to Google’s offering and one that’s quite different in functionality, pros, and cons.

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Hands On With Google’s Voice Search for iPhone: Not a Breakthrough, But Nifty

iphonemikeFirst, it made a splash last Friday, complete with a New York Times story. Then it failed to arrive when folks thought it would. But now the new Google Mobile App for iPhone with voice search is live in Apple’s iTunes App Store. I’ve been playing with it and enjoying the experience–and while it’s by no means revolutionary, it is pretty darn clever.

Google really wants you to try the voice features: The first time you launch the new version of the app, you get a cutey-cute animated intro explaining how voice search works, and an invitation to watch a training video…

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