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Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:49

Google's voice search is useless

Written by Nick Farell
google_logo_new

Just ask Winston Churchill
It is starting to look like Google's voice search recognition is rubbish. While it might work for robots it is not so hot at dealing with real voices.

AP ran Winston Churchill's famous 1940's wartime speech through the software. Instead of the British prime minister's reassurance that “we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets”, it got this cryptic translation back: “This is I John. Demitri. We shall fight on those ending grounds. We shall fight in the fields and in the streets.” The war might have gone a different way had Google been around and we would remember John Demitri instead of Churchill.

Hacks having fun came up with some other daft translations: Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump: “My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” Translation: “Oh mama it's dad last we'd like a box of chocolate you never know what you doing again.” Han Solo in Star Wars: “Hey Luke, may the force be with you”, Translation: “Hey Lou, we're working with you.” Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore in Apocalypse Now: “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” Translation: “Hey Les, Pete come in the morning.”


Nick Farell

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Comments  

 
+22 #1 LauRoman 2011-06-22 13:07
Big friggin deal. It does't work with the voices of Winston Churchill, Marlon Brando King George VI and Scots. Half the time most people have trouble understanding them, do you think an algoryhm should do better?
 
 
+15 #2 bardenck 2011-06-22 16:16
the article is slightly amusing, but to headline it with voice search is useless?? voice search works fine(perfect) for me! too bad you cant give the article negative votes...
 
 
+5 #3 TikiTDO 2011-06-23 01:10
Why in the world would you run a famous speech, or an emotional movie line though a voice interface to a search engine? You're not going to wax poetic whenever you want to find something. You'll try to say it clearly and without inflection right into your microphone.

Maybe next you could complain that the Fudzilla celebrity news section is too limited for your tastes? Or that the political coverage is spotty at best? The site is just not designed for this type of material, just as Google voice search is not designed to understand some make belief Colonel yelling about the smells he happens to enjoy.
 

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