Google Working with a Range of Accents to Improve Speech Recognition Tech

Google’s efforts to enhance its speech recognition technology’s ability to understand regional accents could be much more expansive than originally thought, according to a new report from The Verge.

Google Working with a Range of Accents to Improve Speech Recognition TechEarlier this month, reports emerged of Google soliciting Scots to record short audio samples, presumably to help its technology come to grips with the Scottish accent. That project was conducted through a third party contractor, Appen, and it now appears that its work extended widely beyond Scotland.

Recruiting on Reddit, the company has worked with individuals possessing accents “from the UK and America, as well as Indian and Chinese-accented English,” reports The Verge. These subcontractors were asked to record a range of phrases, often addressed to Google as when speaking to an AI assistant. That recorded speech was then annotated by Appen’s linguists.

The work should help the many Android users around the world who currently adapt their speech patterns to ensure compatibility with Google’s speech recognition technology, and it should also help Google to keep up in the race currently underway between several major IT companies to advance speech recognition technology as it looks to become increasingly central as a user interface in the emerging Internet of Things.

Source: The Verge

August 18, 2016 – by Alex Perala