Friday, April 13, 2018

Voice Recognition: Not Ready Yet

While flipping through the latest Discover magazine, I saw this ad for a captioned telephone, targeted at seniors and the hard-of-hearing:

And while I'm sure it's better than nothing, I want to warn potential buyers that the captioning results are unlikely to be as accurate as the ad shows. In fact, it's more likely that message shown would say:

hello grammar this is kale in how are you today. I what is to say thank you for the bird hey cod.
I base that prediction on the way my iPhone transcribes voicemails. It is especially bad at recognizing proper names, which is understandable, but amusing:

That message was from someone named Ellen. It cut off the beginning when she probably said "This is," and then garbled the next half-dozen words until it got to "we really need to talk to you later."

Another one from Ellen, now Helen.

This one, as you can see, is from someone named Abby, now dubbed Allie, followed by a couple of lines of unintelligible mumbling.

Here are a few other recent favorites:

I have no idea what "Fred water" was supposed to be or just about anything else in this message.

Okay, whatever that was supposed to mean.

Yes, Garalder is a common word, that's clearly the word someone would use.

On the plus side, voice recognition transcription is good for hours of amusement.

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