Google Voice Search picks up an ear for Indian English
Being able to speak aloud to your smartphone can be a fantastic way to interact with it: it’s fast, it can be surprisingly accurate, and honestly it’s just a bit of fun – feeling like you’re living in the future. Of course all this is hinged on it being able to understand you in the first place, and supporting a language becomes a whole lot more complicated when we consider all the widely varying dialects people use. Google is working on making its Voice Search more accessible to English speakers around the world, and today reveals its latest efforts to improve recognition among Indian users.
India’s a nation of dozens of languages, but we’re just looking at English today. The problem for Google is twofold, both training its algorithms to recognize the Indian English dialect in general, and working with accents that can differ based on an individual’s background. The company set out to improve recognition by gathering voice samples form some 700 volunteers, under a variety of environmental conditions.
The results of these efforts are now live, with the next logical step being the addition of full-on Voice Search support for other Indian languages – but that might be a way’s off, with no real estimate just yet for when something like that might arrive.