Cloud Computing: Google Voice Search on Desktop 60% Accurate in First Test

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-06-22 Print this article Print
Bubonic Plague

Bubonic Plague

"Robotic Legs" was the laughable result for our search for "bubonic plague." Not exactly the auspicious start we'd hoped for.
One of the core features Google introduced at its Inside Search event June 14 was a neat new tool that lets users of Google's Chrome Web browser conduct voice searches right from their desktop or laptop computers. If this rings a bell it's because it leverages the exact same speech recognition and application model used for the Google Voice Search for Android smartphones and tablets. Search on the desktop, also known as "search out loud," is rolling out gradually to all U.S. English language search users using Chrome 11 and later versions. Look for the little microphone icon to the right of the search box on The tool starts working with Chrome 11 because it is the first iteration that leverages the Chrome Speech API. Google Speech Technology manager Mike Cohen said at the Inside Search event that he and his team have logged 230 billion words to help Google's English Voice Search system recognize common phrases. That's an incredible number. But all of those words won't necessarily translate to accurate searches because a lot depends on how Google's algorithms handle the words when they're paired or strung together with other words. To see how well it works, eWEEK put this software through its paces. Voice Search nailed 6 out of 10 of our variegated search queries. See our test results in this slide show.

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