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

 
 
By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-06-22
 
 
 

Bubonic Plague

"Robotic Legs" was the laughable result for our search for "bubonic plague." Not exactly the auspicious start we'd hoped for.

Bubonic Plague

Ryan Dunn

Dunn, a member of MTV's "Jackass" crew, recently died in a car accident. We realized there probably are tons of people named "Ryan Dunn," but we also figured he'd figure prominently on Google. We were right, according to this result.

Ryan Dunn

Fried Worms

Google aced our bid for the children's book/movie "How to Eat Fried Worms."

Fried Worms

Super Results

Getting a little trickier, we tried the nonsensical word from "Mary Poppins": "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and were rewarded. Lord knows, we couldn't spell it off the top of our heads.

Super Results

Mets

Google also correctly retrieved our request for "New York Mets schedule for Tuesday, June 21." We could also look down to see the team's schedule for the next few days.

Mets

U2 Lyrics

We don't sing the best, but we practiced beforehand for this. We sang one lyric to U2's "All I Want Is You." Google came close, but still confused "You say you want diamonds and a ring of gold" with "You say you want diamonds in a ring go-go." Huh?

U2 Lyrics

Lebowski

Lyrics can prove tricky, but so can movie quotes as we watched Google butcher the quote "Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost," from the Coen Brothers' cult classic "The Big Lebowski" with the non sequitur you can read here.

Lebowski

Lost or Found in Translation?

The neat thing about Voice Search on the desktop is that it also works with Google Translate. We tried the query "translate to waiter please bring me a glass of water" and found a hit, albeit in the third suggested query.

Lost or Found in Translation?

Found in Translation

Clicking through that result, we saw the translation you see here. We'll consider this a success, even if it involved an extra click.

Found in Translation

Russian

Translate on Voice Search for the desktop works for Russian, too. We queried "translate to where is the bus station" and received this quote.

Russian

Final Query

We dug deep for this one. We riffed a few quotes from "The Prisoner," a short-lived British spy series that aired from 1967 to 1968. Google "heard" and spit back some of what we said as gibberish. But it got "we want information" and "you are number 6" correct, pulling up this Wikipedia entry to tell me all about the series. Success!

Final Query

Voice Search Demo

Google has created this YouTube video to demonstrate Voice Search on the Desktop in action. Users just need a computer with a built-in or attached microphone. Just click the mic in the search bar and start talking.

Voice Search Demo

Rocket Fuel