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Google Wants Your Voice Data

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the and-your-soul dept.

Google 138

00_NOP writes "Peter Norvig, Google's director of research, has told New Scientist that one of the reasons the search engine launched Google Voice is that it needs more human voice data to perfect the sort of 'big data, simple algorithm' probabilistic approach to translating voices to text that drives Google Translate. Norvig says that no one is listening to your calls on Google Voice — it is simply their servers trying to get the translation right."

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Um, how (2)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010032)

I will say that the translation of my voice mails is terrible. Although, how can you tell if it is translated correctly if you don't listen to it? You can look for proper English, but even some of my translations are proper English yet still incorrect. (names, etc come out wrong.) Though most of the time it it's just a jumbled mess that I can't deduce the actual meaning of.

Re:Um, how (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010114)

Your voicemails/transcriptions have a button you can check to mark whether or not it was accurate. Presumably, that is what they mean. Nobody besides *you* listens to them. On the other hand, if that is somehow not the case . . . . then . . . fuck no.

Re:Um, how (2)

thePig (964303) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011360)

In that case, they can use Youtube videos for this, right? Their automatic translation is quite horrible - they could use the good/bad check there too.
Actually they can translate the same videos everytime people sees it - and until quite a high percentage of people say yes, they can test it again.
Also, when they have more than 200 Million videos in youtube, why do they need to store data from Google Voice - which is much more personal and important.

Re:Um, how (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011596)

If the message doesn't require a double check there's no reason for them to store it as they don't have any way of knowing whether or not it was accurate. However, for ones that they do have to go back and analyze, there's a good reason why they'd want to store them. In a word regressions. Without a body of samples which were tough, they don't have any way of gauging whether or not they're truly making progress as improvements could just as easily be in the quality of the samples that they are trying to transcribe.

Re:Um, how (2)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012138)

No"BODY" is listening, but computers are analyzing every call and transcribing it to text?

Hmm, I would guess there would need to be at least some spot-checks that the transcription is working properly.

And isn't there some kind of federal wiretapping law preventing this or is it a "well, we told you we were listening in on every call"?

And methinks it just might be easier for the gov't to get these transcriptions instead of the actual audio recordings. And more convenient to, because it's much faster to read/search them instead of listening to hours and hours of audio.

Re:Um, how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011770)

Also, when they have more than 200 Million videos in youtube, why do they need to store data from Google Voice - which is much more personal and important.

Translating telephone quality voice when people are rambling and umming and ahhing and might have traffic noise in the background is very different from youtube where people are often using microphones, at least trying to speak in a clear manner, but might have music in the background.

Re:Um, how (2)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010134)

There is a checkmark and an X you can click if the translation is good/bad.

Re:Um, how (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010152)

Although, how can you tell if it is translated correctly if you don't listen to it?

They don't listen in, at least not initially. You do. If it's not translated correctly, there's a box for you to check that gives them permission to listen.

Re:Um, how (2)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010504)

They've gotten some pretty good data from me. My Google Voice number isn't currently published, so all of the voicemails I get are wrong numbers (or tests). They are completely incomprehensible to me, and to Google Voice - although one did a fair approximation of jibberish English (I think it was in some African dialect). Most seem to be in African languages, although a few are central European sounding. Good luck getting a good translation - but that's the magic that Google is trying to accomplish: translate some spoken language without any foreknowledge. Kind of like Google Goggles only for voice. So I volunteer all of these for their translation database.

Oh, and I do get a fair number of advertizements and service calls. If you had an appointment with Comcast last Thursday, the tech called the wrong number - that's why he didn't show up. Google did a good job on the translation though...

Re:Um, how (1)

heypete (60671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012088)

Oh, and I do get a fair number of advertizements and service calls. If you had an appointment with Comcast last Thursday, the tech called the wrong number - that's why he didn't show up. Google did a good job on the translation though...

I have similar experiences, only with email instead of voicemail.

This confuses me as I've owned my own domain for just under 12 years (and was the original registrant), and am the only recipient at the entire domain. It's my personal address and a few generic role accounts (postmaster@, abuse@, etc.) that forward to my personal account. There is no reason why someone named "Diane" should use my email address (pete@[my slashdot username].com) when scheduling an Apple Store appointment in South Carolina (not a state where I've ever lived).

Yet, oddly enough, it happened on April 11th of this year. Go figure.

Re:Um, how (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010184)

I bet their servers have all the naughty words perfected.

I agree though. Its a classic case of chicken/egg. From a innocent's perspective it makes sense. They want all voice data (dialects, accents, etc.) to improve translations not only for Google Translate but also for voice-text-voice.

In the end, do I really care who listens to my conversations? No, they can listen to all the phone sex if they want. Do I think they will be selling this data off in the future? Maybe. As long as they aren't selling my CC, address, SS#, etc, I'm good.

The days of privacy have come and are now going. Let it be. It's the cycle we should get used to now.

Re:Um, how (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010426)

We should just get over the fact that privacy is gone, eh? Not here, my friend. Not ever. People have a RIGHT to privacy despite what anyone will tell you.

The fact that the majority of people could give a hoot in hell about their personal and our collective privacy will come back to haunt us. I don't understand why people would willingly give up their privacy for a little functionality, cool tech, gadgets, whatever. I value my privacy and I don't share my info willingly with anyone or any organization without a lawful requirement, e.g. SSN for employers, banks. I even fought my medical insurance company on getting my SSN because they have no legal mandate to possess that information.

I will not have grocery store cards to save money for the same reasons. I will not trade my personal information for a little savings.

These companies take our information from us and profit greatly while we in turn get what? A "free" email account laden with ads that track our behavior? This is not a win-win situation and no one really cares, because they can chat with their friends across the globe in real time, make "friends" on Facebook they will never meet or really know.

Where does all this end? When the entire world is one transparent collective society where no one has any privacy whatsoever? Personal information is a goldmine as is shown by how desperately companies want to get their hands on it. I think there should be a citizens' clearinghouse where people can agree to sell their info for a profit -- opt-in by default. Anyone caught trying to get around this clearinghouse pays dearly legally. Companies bid for your personal information and you profit as well. Anything short of some model like this is completely lopsided in favor of corporate interests that don't have our best interests at heart.

Re:Um, how (1)

SETIGuy (33768) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012126)

In the end, do I really care who listens to my conversations? No, they can listen to all the phone sex if they want.

They aren't listening to your conversations. They are listening to your voicemail if you send it to them. And if someone were to have phone sex with my voicemail, whether I sent it to them would depend upon who was calling.

Re:Um, how (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010200)

My experience with a Nexus One...

If I used voice transcribing for to the phone directly: as in I spoke to my phone to do a google search or write a text, it came out fairly well. There was the occasional error but mostly on things like names.

But my transcripts from the voice mails I receive were often trash.

I guess it has to do with the sound-quality: it probably uses the original high-quality recording locally so it performs good Google searches. Meanwhile the compression and static over the phone line (and the voice mail recording) are probably harder to transcribe.

Re:Um, how (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011144)

I've had the same experience, my voicemail transcripts are garbage.

When I speak into my phone to write a text or run a search I make a point to speak slowly and enunciate very clearly. I suspect most people don't make the same kind of effort in voicemails.

Re:Um, how (1)

darkshadow88 (776678) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012124)

That is absolutely correct. Speech recognition is incredibly sensitive to sound quality and background noise. When you're talking into your phone, the ASR software has a very good quality sample to work with. On the phone line, however, you're dealing with a very noisy signal, which causes huge degradations in the quality of recognition.

Another server (2)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010272)

They have another server that checks the first server's translation. Part of their work is checking that server's affectiveness, too.

Re:Um, how (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011678)

What's funny is this is the case for everyone but both of my grandmothers... either one of them leave a voicemail, and it transcribes > 95% accurate, better than anyone else (30-60% usually). I guess it works well for old women raised in the U.S. midwest.

Self-checking (2)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010036)

How do servers assess whether they've got the translation correct without having a human-in-the-loop to listen to the conversation and concurrently read what the server translated? Maybe the data is anonymous by the time it gets to a human, but it seems like humans need to interface with the voice data somehow to validate that the server is translating accurately.

Re:Self-checking (5, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010126)

"How do servers assess whether they've got the translation correct without having a human-in-the-loop to listen to the conversation and concurrently read what the server translated?"

If you log into your Google Voice page, and look at a translated message, in the lower right corner there is the question - "Transcript useful?" along with yes/no checkboxes. If you check one, it asks if you want to "donate" that VM to improve the translations, you can answer yes/no/never:

Want to help Google's automated transcription get better? Donated voicemails will be listened to, manually transcribed, and used to improve our transcribing server's accuracy. They are only used for this purpose.

Re:Self-checking (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012002)

It's too bad they don't let you fix the transcription. Even if they're worried about people trying to poison their data (like people talk about with ReCaptcha), they could at least the user fix his own view of it.

Re:Self-checking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010138)

It's the Google Voice user that does the correction of Google's transcriptions. When one receives the transcription, Google asks if they got it correct.

Re:Self-checking (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010210)

You are the human in the loop. If you read the VM from the website you have an option to submit the recording if the translation wasn't helpful.

Huh? (-1, Flamebait)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010038)

So the servers are just trying to do the translation right . . . and no one is listening to your calls. Except of course the servers, and the people later on who are looking at the translation and also listening to the original perhaps to see if it was correct.

Oh and first post . . . or I was when I started. And of course I did not read the article.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010090)

First post? Tell it to google, I'm sure they'll listen.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010664)

Except of course the servers, and the people later on who are looking at the translation and also listening to the original perhaps to see if it was correct.

Yes, if you agree to them doing it.

Which means you're a moron for not knowing what you're talking about.

nice (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010046)

>simply their servers trying to the translation right
>trying to the translation right
>the translation right

Nicely done.

Re:nice (4, Funny)

alostpacket (1972110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010168)

Apparently they're already on par with your average Slashdot editor.

Re:nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010194)

Yeah, yeah, they accidentally the whole word.

Re:nice (1)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010590)

Think of the translations, man... they have rights.

servers trying to the translation (2)

foma84 (2079302) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010108)

oh shit! Google accidentally my voice data!

Re:servers trying to the translation (2)

m0rphin3 (461197) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010454)

Once, I accidentally my voice data, but then the Google server so it was OK.

Re:servers trying to the translation (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011984)

I what you did there.

They Make it Hard to Delete History (5, Interesting)

Quantum_Infinity (2038086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010132)

I can tell that they want the voice data badly. They make it very difficult to delete call and voicemail history. You can't delete more than 10 records at a time and even then they go into trash and keep piling up over there. You can delete the data from trash but again only 10 at a time. There is no option to empty the trash. Their help section says that the history is purged from trash after 30 days automatically but only that it isn't. My call history sits in the trash indefinitely unless I painstakingly delete all history 10 records at a time.

Re:They Make it Hard to Delete History (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010642)

Good news - after you go through all the painstaking, tedious work of deleting them ten at a time, they're really gone forever!

*snort* yeah, I couldn't keep a straight face while typing that. Hopefully you couldn't keep one while reading it, either.

Re:They Make it Hard to Delete History (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36012380)

Not only that, they've made it impossible to flag whether or not a translation was any good from mobile devices - both Android-based and Blackberries are lacking this feature inside the Google Voice program. The only choice is to go online, log in, and do it. That's an extra step, and most people aren't going to go out of their way to do that.

Google, are you listening?

Error in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010140)

"it is simply their servers trying to the translation right"?

Slashdot accidentally the whole verb!

Or maybe they just put it through Google Translate... it's 'probably' right.

biometric id (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010196)

My voice is my passport. Verify me.

Google Wants Your Voice, Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010270)

Brent Spiner would want to be paid for it.

Is anyone surprised? (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010352)

This is the price of "free" services.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (1)

afex (693734) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010464)

no, we're not - and I will GLADLY pay this price, if not more. If you are a GV user, then you understand how insanely valuable the service is.

on the flipside, if you're a privacy advocate (which I absolutely get!), then don't sign up.

the thing that I don't get is people shouting "i told you so" at all the people that use google services - we get it, we already know they want to mine our data - and we WANT to give it to them!

*disclaimer: i do not use GV due to the fact that I MMS more than a teenage girl - but I do look at the others that use it with envy : (

Re:Is anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010580)

If you're a privacy advocate, don't answer 'yes', when you're asked if you want someone at Google to listen to your message.

Re:Is anyone surprised? (2)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010656)

We are derisive towards "Hai This is Facebook. Plz give us ur full name, address, cell phone number, age, and eye color so we can give you five Farmville sheep."

But you bring up the more interesting case, "Awesome service versus abused data". (Shout out to Holland and TomTom for yesterday's example.)

Or here, Google Translate vs ... a billion hours of juicy phone calls!

Speech is "Audio" - All we need is a hacker and a Wikileaks Dump!

I gave up (3)

dargaud (518470) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010386)

I gave up trying to get voice software to work over a decade ago. The reason is that I'm trilingual and use all 3 daily. So the software needs to be able to:
- understand a lousy accent: there are some words I cannot and will never be able to pronounce 'right'
- recognize what language is being spoken (having those 3 and only those 3 preset in the options)
Now I haven't tried Google Voice, but none of the software I've tried or heard about could even remotely do those two basic things.

Re:I gave up (2)

Thavilden (1613435) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010520)

Those two requirements don't exactly strike me as "basic".

Re:I gave up (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011310)

They are basic (in the sense that they are a must) for a tool like google voice's.

To tell apart different languages and guess when a word is a foreign language word.
I know three languages. Mother language (spanish) second language (english) and some japanese.
I can still tell when somebody is speaking different languages that I barely know(german, french, chinese, portuguese, italian).

To put into letters words that it does not have in its vocabulary and no just try and find the closest match

To understand different accents.

Re:I gave up (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010698)

Considering that outside of Africa only a very small fraction of the population speaks more than two languages let alone fluently, I don't think that it's a basic request.

Re:I gave up (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010920)

Considering that outside of Africa only a very small fraction of the population speaks more than two languages let alone fluently, I don't think that it's a basic request.

It strikes me that Europe might disagree with you on that.

Re:I gave up (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011204)

I don't know, even in Spain where they have a dozen languages, few people speak three of them (or two + English).

Re:I gave up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011232)

And India, a country one-third the size of the US and four times the population, with 22 official languages, 415 languages and more than a thousand dialects.

Re:I gave up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011278)

Or Asia. Or South America. Or anywhere...

Re:I gave up (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011650)

I could be wrong, but I doubt most Europeans are fluent in more than two languages, and I bet a significant number aren't fluent in multiple languages. The reason I'm singling out Africa there is that in parts it's very common for people to speak not just one or two, but three, four or more languages and to have to learn a new language at marriage so that they can communicate.

Trust me, Europeans have nothing on that.

Re:I gave up (2)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011726)

have to learn a new language at marriage so that they can communicate.

Married people communicate?

Re:I gave up (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011536)

The Malaysians I know do. They all speak a local dialect (their first language), plus they speak Mandarin (the regional language taught for normal communication), plus they speak English (the language they learn to conduct business). They can't really co-mingle the applications, either; they don't know many business terms in their native language so English isn't just an option, it's preferred for those uses.

Re:I gave up (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011776)

Va te faire enculer, pendejo

Re:I gave up (2)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011848)

Considering that outside of Africa only a very small fraction of the population speaks more than two languages let alone fluently, I don't think that it's a basic request.

40% of EUropeans speak English well enough to have a conversation (not including native speakers). In some areas (Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, places near country borders) it's not unusual to speak an extra language.

If you're a European child you speak [your version of European], learn English at school because English is useful, and if you like languages you might choose another; in the same way, perhaps, that an American child might choose to learn Spanish.

I know a little French and a little German -- nowhere near enough to have a proper conversation (I'm still learning) but enough that if I see some French or German text I try and understand it before hitting the "Translate" button. I'm also by far the least multi-lingual in my house, the other three people are fluent in either two, three or four languages.

Re:I gave up (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010782)

Google Voice is pretty amazing, even at the early stages. It can auto-recognize many languages. It can also do a fair job with bad pronunciation. Google translate is able to understand my Spanish - which is fairly incomprehensible. Of course, my vocabulary is limited to that provided by public high schools in rural North Carolina back in 1982. Good luck getting me to do more than ask for directions to the bath room.

I'll steal a joke from David Sedaris - a single year of high school Spanish just isn't enough to function in society. Trying to borrow a lighter walking around Mexico City I had to go up to people and ask to borrow some fire: podría darme un poco de fuego?

That didn't really happen - it was Sedaris talking about his adventures in France. But it could have been me. In my case it was rural Mexico on the Yuccatan looking for some Hydrocortisone ointment for the wife (who was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes). You try explaining allergic reaction to a 14 year old Mayan girl manning a pharmacy in rural Mexico while using the vocabulary of a 3 year old.... good luck sounding like anything more than an idiot. I finally had to write down "hydrocortisone ointment, 1%" on a piece of paper. She produced a tube of 2.5% ointment (prescription strength in the US - woot!) and earned my wife's undying gratitude. I can only imagine how easy that transaction would have been with google translate. Heck, if I just knew the words for "skin" and "bite" at the time it would have been really helpful...

Re:I gave up (2)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011142)

I used to work with a "trilingual" fella.
Born in Itally, raised in France, and then lived in the USA for 17+ years.
He effectively spoke no language.
Bad Itallian, worse French and jumbled English.
is there an app for that?

Re:I gave up (2)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011814)

I have had "conversations" with people coming back to Mexico after living years in the US... poor fellows, their Spanish is incomprehensible and their English sounds like a racist joke.

Pochos have really developed their own pidgin language :S

Re:I gave up (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012010)

One of my flatmates speaks four languages fluently. I think her English is at least as good as mine was when I was 16, in some cases better (consistently using "whom", "and I" etc correctly).

I'm learning German; when I get a little better I want to have German-speaking Sundays (Deutsche sprechen Sonntags?... Wrong conjugation of sprechen, probably the wrong word order, oh well, I've not been learning long.).

Maybe it tried to translate the summary (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010458)

Maybe google voice tried to translate the summary:

it is simply their servers trying to the translation right.

Re:Maybe it tried to translate the summary (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010536)

Hey, that would be useful, a service that translates slashdot summaries into English.

Re:Maybe it tried to translate the summary (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011210)

By the time the servers are that powerful, they could run Crysis.

Re:Maybe it tried to translate the summary (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011616)

no, it would look more like this ...

innocent lythe airs her versed rhyme to theatre and slay shun, right?

Yeah, you need voice data to get voice to text (1)

sjvn (11568) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010490)

And you're surprised why? All voice apps. do this. Always have, always will, and until it's perfected, and we're a long, long way from perfecting it.

Steven

Hmmmmm, looking for accuracy are we? (1)

achenaar (934663) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010532)

"it is simply their servers trying to the translation right"
I think you a word in your sentence.

Doesn't work well... (3, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010554)

"Peter Norvig, Google's director of research, has told New Scientist that one of the reasons the search engine launched Google Voice is that it needs more human voice data to perfect the sort of 'big data, simple algorithm' probabilistic approach to translating voices to text that drives Google Translate. Norvig says that no one is listening to your calls on Google Voice — it is simply their servers trying to the translation right."

I think Google Voice translated the last part of that sentence.

Entertaining anyway (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010560)

The translation is off pretty far most of the time for my voicemail. But they do end up to be entertaining. Here are two actual translations from google voice:

1) Okay, I don't know why it takes for ever, for your voicemail to pick up. But anyway, I was just calling to tell you that we forgot to while. I will and I told Mrs. Smith and this is best but she signed about it, so I'm gonna shout in the car and have it for her after I pick her up, bye. You Get Out virtual slot is not with us. So, wish me luck. I don't have to run out over there, bye.

2) Hey, it's me. Yeah, I would you like. The has the can't seeing tomorrow night and then there's the car was up for a late night should keep talking about it I'm sure wondering if we could let him get the cantinas left for due to Cardiff blues. I thought I'd run it by you and see what you thought, let me know if any a message or something, so I can out and I will talk to you later. Bye.

Re:Entertaining anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011566)

You think thats bad? Try

Hello hello, hey hello. Hello. Okay bye. Hello, bye bye. It's okay. Hello. Bye, okay. HI hey. I was okay bye. Hello, work hello, bye bye hey. Hello. Hello. Hello, ohh bye bye. Hello. Bye, couple hello, cos hello. Bye bye hello. Hello. Hey.

I is have hamburger? (2)

ook_boo (1373633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010570)

Right. Everyone get on Google Voice with funny unnatural accents, unusual intonation and non-native grammar! Let's skew their data.

Re:I is have hamburger? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010876)

Epic wonderment! I'm get near to this.

Re:I is have hamburger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010878)

Open it up to Canada and i'm sure it'll get pretty fucked pretty quick from here in Newfoundland. :)

Re:I is have hamburger? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011468)

Let's speak MS at it...

Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.

They don't listen to it... (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010646)

They just read it later.

the whole truth, accept no substitute, alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010662)

as far as conspiratorial fear mongering? who does it better? the truth. other outstanding features; religious crusaderism, chosen ones minionisms, genocidal historisms, & restorisms. then there's mythical magical fictional being promotions, & real sex religious 'trainings'. who do we trust? thanks again for the observable progress by others in the disarming arena. as for the 'weather'? tell the truth.

Oblig. UserFriendly comic (2)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010678)

There was a Userfriendly.org strip years ago which pretty much summarizes my experience with voice recognition software for the past 15 years. . .

I can't find the link to the comic anymore, but basically, one of the guys in the office had been trying to use voice recog software. Some of his coworkers come to his office. He's not there, but on the screen, they wonder about the mysterious message, "Cod Am Pizza Ship".

Just found it. . . (2)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010724)

The Strip [userfriendly.org] .

Same reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010716)

I think I read somewhere that this was the same reason that Google 411 launched. It was a great, free service for getting directory information from a cell phone or home phone. What Google was really doing was collecting and testing voice recognition algorithms.

Unfortunately, they killed the service last year. Now I use a free one sponsored by Bing. Go figure.

Google being sneaky here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010728)

Check out the app Communicate for Android - it grabs every word nearly spot on.

Oddly enough, if you use Google Voice Search and opt-out of the 'personalization' feature that records your voice and stores that data with your account - it doesn't work anywhere nearly as well.

What is going on? How can this app, built on Google Voice, be so accurate, while the companies native offering doesn't fare as well unless you 'teach it?'

Tinfoil hat says the company is mis-hearing your voice on purpose, to encourage you to upload your voice samples, which fits nicely in the grand scheme of things.

Dang! (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010754)

Y'all kin have mah voce data. Sheeeit! I warn't doin' nutin' wid it anyhows.

Google needs to improve their algorithms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36010764)

so they can send higher quality data to the CIA / NSA about what you are saying and who you are saying it to.

If we get the heuristics back as FOSS (2)

cyrus0101 (1750660) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010776)

I'd be willing to let this happen if google then released the derived heuristics as free open source software. I'll share if you share.

Posting this from google voice (1)

hardaker (32597) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010786)

Google is knot an evil umpire. They our hear 2 us with wheel whirled problems. Please stop bash tag google. All your words belong to us.

Google Wonders, "How Can We Become MORE Evil?" (0)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36010838)

Google announces Google Voice, noting that it will be archiving and auto-transcribing subscribers phonecalls.

"But don't worry," Google Voice Product Evangelist Boris Badinov said at the press conference announcing the service's launch. "We promise full interoperability with Google Docs, GMail, Android, and the NSA. Also, the artist who does the daily search engine doodle has promised to come up with a really cool, shiny logo."

And around the world, geeks sign up in droves, many noting that they didn't even realize they needed this, but if Google sez it will be shiny, they'd better get on board with it quickly.

Re:Google Wonders, "How Can We Become MORE Evil?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011922)

At least they're not apple.

Who on top of doing all that evil. Would also charge you $ for it. And then sue you if you didn't bend over fast enough.

Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011076)

It's interesting that all the comments so far have been about the technology etc.

This breaks just about every federal and state wiretapping law that exists. If a person or organization wishes to record the phone conversation of two individuals, according to federal law [cornell.edu] , one party must have full knowledge that the call will be recorded and give her consent before the call.

Additionally, according to some states' law [citmedialaw.org] , both parties must have full knowledge and give prior consent.

The key here is the prior consent. Google is breaking all of these laws by recording first then telling the people after the call about it. By that time the recording is a criminal act, no matter what under federal laws and ALL state laws.

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (1)

utkonos (2104836) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011254)

In Virginia: "Virginia's wiretapping law is a "one-party consent" law. Virginia makes it a crime to intercept or record any "wire, oral, or electronic communication" unless one party to the conversation consents. Virginia Code 19.2-62. Therefore, if you operate in Virginia, you may record a conversation or phone call if you are a party to the conversation or you get permission from one party to the conversation in advance. That said, if you intend to record conversations involving people located in more than one state, you should play it safe and get the consent of all parties." Google is breaking the law because they are not informing both parties of the recording in advance. I'm sure that all this information is buried somewhere in the terms of service that you click "yes" to without reading it. But, unfortunately for google, that does not satisfy informed consent laws. Some states even require consent on a call by call basis, so blanket consent is automatically invalid and illegal.

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (3, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012056)

Do you not understand what voicemail is? How can record a message for someone without consenting to it being recorded?

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (1)

calderra (1034658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011296)

$2 says your "consent" is buried in the TOS.

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (1)

udoschuermann (158146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011364)

Are you sure that signing up for Google Voice doesn't include a clause giving them permission to store the audio? IANAL, but I would also presume that they could successfully claim that it is obvious that a voice mail service must record the audio in order to store and reproduce it later.

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011402)

Uh, it's a voicemail service and presents itself as such. Intention to record is kinda implicit... 'cause, you know, that's what voicemail is. Besides which, it also warns parties explicitly. It's called a "greeting".

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011418)

It'd be kind of hard to leave a voice mail if you didn't want the receiving party to record it. Implied consent much?

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011560)

This breaks just about every federal and state wiretapping law that exists. If a person or organization wishes to record the phone conversation of two individuals, according to federal law [cornell.edu] , one party must have full knowledge that the call will be recorded and give her consent before the call.

WTF are you talking about? This is about transcribing voice mail messages. What idiot leaves a voicemail message without realizing it is being recorded? And certainly the owner of the account knows it has voicemail. There are your 2 parties, so where's the violation?

Google voice also allows you to record portions of a regular phone conversation, but as I recall, it announces when it is turned on and off, and it won't let you turn it on for a call that you place (presumably to prevent the scenario where you place a call and then turn on recording before the other party has an human join the conversation).

Re:Google is breaking wiretapping laws everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36012028)

You don't seem to understand what Google Voice is. They're not recording your calls, just your voicemail. If you're under the impression that recording voicemail is "a criminal act", then you must have some really creative designs for a voicemail service...
 
...or you're just a moron.

Time for more testing (1)

empty_other (1116615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011192)

So.. They are trying to teach GALaDOS (Google Artificial Lifeform and Disk Operative System) to speak?

Algorithm focused services (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011220)

This is the same as how they put "Closed Captions" on youtube videos.

Google has no interest in crowd-sourcing the translation or transcription of speech, they want it all automated.

Which is why YouTube Closed Captions SUCK!

Voluntary (1)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011648)

GV has had an opt-in feature to basically donate each GV transcription to Google with an indicator of whether you thought it was a good or bad transcription. Is there any evidence that Google is delving into your voice data without your consent? Were you expecting a GV transcription *without* a machine at least analyzing the voice data that came in and then discarding it?

YouTube (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36011864)

Just grab audio from thousands of dialogs or talks on YouTube and test it out.

EzScramble[tm] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36011974)

Play talk radio or music in the background. Loop recital of you saying alphabet. Baby crying. etc.

Voice OS (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36012066)

There will only be one voice operating System. Google wants to get there first.
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