Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Do you speak GOOGLISH?

Google, iPhone and the Future of Machines That Listen

How do you talk to a search engine? In Googlish, of course.

Google’s new speech recognition service for the iPhone, was released on Monday, understands you most accurately when you speak to it just the way you enter queries into the Google search box. That makes sense, because the system’s accuracy comes from the billions and billions of typed queries that Google has recorded over the years.

Google’s voice search software for iPhones. (Peter DaSilva for The New York Times)
So don’t bother with polite formalisms like “What is the best pizza restaurant in San Francisco?” Simply say “best pizza restaurant San Francisco.”

The accuracy is far from 100 percent, and probably not even 95 percent, in the past decade, however, progress has accelerated. The stakes seem to be very high and there are a number of big and small players. The search giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo all believe speech recognition is a prerequisite for the era of mobile computing. And there are lots of others including I.B.M., Nuance and Vlingo that are developing speech technology.

Their aim is to enable us to eventually be able to interact with our phone like we do with our friends - watch this space!


Anonymous said...

So interesting. Voice recognition seems an obvious step, but I wonder whether we will actually use it. Do you think the I-don't-want-to-sound-like-an-idiot barrier will get in the way of this? Personally, I still hate peopl hearing me talk on the phone, let alone broadcasting how moronic I'll sound using search language sounds.

I think search will progress to a point where it can pre-empt what we want based on location/ time specific search behaviour and tell us what we want before we have to ask - most of us are still wildly habitual creatures and it's not very often we do surprising things. This is a massive opportunity for marketing on a global, national and local scale.

Anonymous said...

interesting point about whether we'll actually use it, how many of us use it on our mobiles - im sure most of them have the functionality...

It is interesting thinking about where its going to take search strategies though...