On Dec. 14, Google began letting users link Voice Search queries made from their Android 2.2 smartphones to their Google Accounts. The idea is to boost recognition accuracy.
Google said it is offering to link queries users speak into their Android
smartphones to their Google Accounts to improve speech recognition for those
users over time.
It's called personalized recognition, and it represents a graduation
of Voice Search, which has become a popular search app
on smartphones based on Google's Android
operating system, as well as Apple's iPhone.
Google launched Voice Search more than two years ago with broad speech
models that didn't account for users' age,
accents and other characteristics.
"But we always knew we could build a more accurate model by listening
to your voice, and learning how you-as a unique individual-speak. So today
we're launching personalized recognition," Google Product Manager Amir
Man??Â« and Glen Shires, a member of the technical staff at Google, wrote
on the Google Mobile blog.
English speakers using Android 2.2 smartphones or later who opt into
personalized recognition will have recordings of words they speak into their
phones for Voice Search associated with their Google Account.
Google will use these words to build a speech model for the user to boost
recognition accuracy. Ideally, Google Voice Search associated with users'
Google accounts will improve the speech recognition capabilities when they
conduct voice searches on their handsets.
Users may also choose to disassociate their voice recordings from their
Google Account through the speech section in the Google Dashboard.
Support for other countries and languages is planned for the near future.
Personalized recognition is not an over-the-air upgrade for Android 2.2
Users must download the latest version of the Voice Search app from Android
Market to begin personalizing speech recognition. eWEEK did so for a test
version of the Samsung Nexus S and found the process to be quick and painless.
Google has shown an interest in boosting its speech and voice recognition
capabilities of late. More than a week ago, the company acquired
speech synthesis specialist Phonetic Arts,
whose software samples human speech and tailors it for computers.
A person familiar with Google's plans said the Phonetic Arts capabilities
did not come into play for personalized recognition.
"The Phonetic Arts team will join Google's existing efforts in speech
technology to help drive innovation in the area of text-to-speech
synthesis," a spokesperson told eWEEK Dec. 5.