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Vista Speech Recognition Goes Awry

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the egg-on-face dept.

418

An anonymous reader writes "It seems even MSNBC is willing to take a jab on those rare occasions when Microsoft products don't work. During a demo of Vista's speech recognition technology, Vista couldn't differentiate between mom and aunt, and all attempts to rectify the problem just made it worse. Wait until you see what it spat out, I think we have a new 'All your base.' Don't you just love Microsoft's live demonstrations?"

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Roald Dahl (4, Funny)

Ithika (703697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805400)

Reminds me of the Roald Dahl short story about the ant-eater who ate someone's aunt because their accent rendered the two words the same.

I can't remember what the story was called.

Re:Roald Dahl (1)

Kuxman (876286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805415)

The tollbooth?

Re:Roald Dahl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805424)

Reminds me of another (off topic) joke:
What do you call a fish without an eye?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Fsh

GNAA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805401)

GNAA

Re:GNAA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805404)

Aww, poor little troll missed the FP :(

FP? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805402)

FIRST POST?

Did anybody try... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805403)

saying "greedy bastard" or "monopoly" to see if MS Word typed out "Bill Gates" or "Microsoft"?

Re:Did anybody try... (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805497)

I'll bet someone is Redmond is asking the demo organizer:

"Can you say -- canned like a tuna?"

Which Vista promptly translates as: (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805698)

double the niece's killers select all delete DIE!

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805405)

Yeah, well its MS. You get that.

Awww...c'mon guys.... (5, Funny)

JoeLinux (20366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805411)

It's just a one-time thing.

I mean, it's not like they have a reputation for releasing half-assed code that's been hyped up through marketing to the point that it will never perform as advertised.

And it's not like this is a company that is having image problems due to its monopolistic nature.

Or headed by an infamous ragaholic with a history of intolerance towards free standards.

Nope, I'm sure that this is just an accident by a company that spends its off hours petting little baby chickens and bunnies.

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (4, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805439)

Nothing to worry about, I'm sure they'll get all the kinks out by the time Vista is released - sometime in 2008 or so, it seems, based on this video.

This was really a dreadful presentation. There was no ambient noise (as the commentators say later, and despite what Microsoft says), and there was no echo as the demonstrator claims during the actual test. It seems to have been done under really good test conditions, but still it failed miserably.

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805458)

Most likely the system was trained by an engineer and handed off to the ass in marketting. He was probably supposed to train it to his voice too but decided to hit the bar instead.

Voice recognition requires some training regardless of who provides it. We're not Star Trek here....Prep work and rehearsal people. If mr. sales guy had tried the demo before the presentation he would have noticed it wasn't working and avoided the embarassment.

This is why sales people are asshats. They're unprofessional non-technical people who sap back the high life while the rest of us have to put up with the mess they create through their daily barrage of verbal diarhea.

Tom

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805548)

Older generation systems do.

Dragon System newer system does not. So, could it be that MS is behind the times with its newest unreleased OS and Office Suite??

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (5, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805577)

Generally, from what I've seen you need to train it a bit on the way you speak. There are thousands of distinct English accents and pronounciation variations.

For instance, the word "patent" is pronounced differently in the UK from North America. In the UK it is "pay-tent" and over here it's "pah-tent". That's just one example.

Point is [to paraphrase ballmer]:

Preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), [pitch of voice higher], preperation (clap), preperation (clap), [wheeze out of breath, pitch even higher], preperation (clap), preperation (clap), yeah!!!

Something tells me this sales guy will get neither punished nor lose their x-mas bonus. Some poor schmuck in engineering will take the fall for not making the demo "people ready".

Tom

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (5, Funny)

calculadoru (760076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805700)

Preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), preperation (clap), [pitch of voice higher], preperation (clap), preperation (clap), [wheeze out of breath, pitch even higher], preperation (clap), preperation (clap), yeah!!!

One would be inclined to think that since you went and typed that word nine times, you would have managed to spell preparation correctly at least once...

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (4, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805720)

I used the Vista Beta Speech Recognition?

[and I copy/pasted it. Yeah I know, I'm hardly literate. What you wanna fight about it?]

Tom

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (4, Insightful)

jc42 (318812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805711)

There are thousands of distinct English accents and pronounciation variations.

Aw, c'mon; how many English dialects pronounce "mom" and "aunt" similarly?

Even to someone who's worked with voice recognition, that mistake simply isn't credible. If the software were anywhere near usable, it wouldn't confuse those words from anyone, especially not in a low-noise, no-echo demo.

This is a "No excuses" situation. That demo was simply a dismal failure due to some major bug(s).

Of course, the speech recognition field has a long history of staying in such a state forever. It's hard to find a product that, even with extensive training, doesn't produce howlers like this.

I did like the "killer" part ...

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (2, Interesting)

teridon (139550) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805712)

FWIW, Nuance claims that their latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking (v9) doesn't require training before use. But of course this is different software. But consider this -- aren't "Mom" and "Aunt" phonetically dissimilar enough that you should NOT need to train it?

I'm not one to defend MS, but I speculate that the volume on his microphone was set too high, causing distortion and clipping. Look at the volume meter when he talks -- it goes all the way to the top.

Mr. Pogue begs to differ: (2, Interesting)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805648)

He writes [nytimes.com] : "The software I'm using is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.0, the latest version of the best-selling speech-recognition software for Windows. This software, which made its debut Tuesday, is remarkable for two reasons.

Reason 1: You don't have to train this software. That's when you have to read aloud a canned piece of prose that it displays on the screen -- a standard ritual that has begun the speech-recognition adventure for thousands of people.

I can remember, in the early days, having to read 45 minutes' worth of these scripts for the software's benefit. [...] NatSpeak 9 requires no training at all."

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (3, Interesting)

Illserve (56215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805713)

Let's give this guy some credit. He clearly has some degree if competence if he's selected to showboat the app at a major presentation, at least enough to know that you need to train, or at least test, a voice recognition demo.

A far more likely scenario, in my mind, is that he trained and tested it 100 times and got it working nearly flawlessly, but in a different room and with a different setup. In fact he may have overtrained it. Programs like this can behave very badly when they end up overfitting the data.

On the day in question he may have had a different mic and the acoustics were certainly different and the program went whacko.

Voice recognition requires some training regardles (2, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805724)

That's so last century. NPR did a bit on the new Dragon Dictate 9. The NPR reporter got 100% accuracy out of the box, no training.

Dictation Software Improves Usability, Accuracy [npr.org]

Re:Awww...c'mon guys.... (0, Redundant)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805589)

Maybe the voice recognition software was not properly trained. I had shit like that when I played with voice recogniton software before.

Hee hee (4, Funny)

kefoo (254567) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805413)

Reminds me of the time when I worked at a computer store and we played with the voice recognition card in a PowerMac floor model. Somebody programmed it so that if someone said "Computer, bite me", it would respond with "Can't bite what's not there". Over time the accuracy of the recognition fell. One day as a salesman was talking to a customer about the computer it misinterpreted something he said and said "Can't bite what's not there". Needless to say that system was wiped and we weren't allowed to play with it anymore.

Re:Hee hee (2, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805601)

In fact voice recognition would be a great playground for non-profit open source software projects.

Voice recognition means permanent beta. Voice recognition only slightly improved during the last ten years. One reason is that the VR market it a trivial patent minefield. The rest is just performance.

Sure, we will get proper voice recognition some day. I would source it out to open source and integrate it back into my products once it will be ready.

No no no no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805419)

It's not a bug. It's a feature. It reads your mind and finds what you are TRYING to say. In this case, he wanted to write a letter to his aunt about setting bombs so as to double the amount of serial killers at large (currently two) and then remove the Select All command from all programs ever made, and so it outputted "Dear Aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all".

Re:No no no no no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805474)

Dear slashdot, let's so establish the -1 "so unfunny it hurts" mod.

Well (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805420)

it could lead to surprising porn....

Re:Well (5, Funny)

acariquara (753971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805583)

...or a new slashdot signature.

I agree (1)

Catastrophator (919528) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805421)

Let's set so double the killer! I guess all that left to do is point and go "Haa Haa!"

Re:I agree (1)

Brad Mace (624801) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805614)

Let's set so double the killer! I guess all that left to do is point and go "Haa Haa!"

I see you're also using the trial version

next features to be cut from vista... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805427)

First they will cut the letter V, because you can still call it "ista" and get away with it.

then they will cut the A, because you can still call it "ist" and get away with it.

after that, they will cut the T, because they can still call it "is" and get away with it.

finally they will cut the S, because you can still call it "i" and get away with it and after that they give the world an "i" and everybody goes what the fuck do I need an "i" for and that's when Microsoft turns around and says, "well maybe one day you can have an A and an S and a V, but it will cost you more".

-Sj53

Re:next features to be cut from vista... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805446)

Well selling 'i's worked for Apple. (iPod, iSight, iMac, etc.)

The Voice of Experience (5, Insightful)

dacap (177314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805434)

Yes, once again Microsoft S/W Engineers learn that the more public the demo or the more important the audience, the more likely some will go wrong. It's one of Murphy's laws. Been there. Did that. Barely survived.

Experience is the human quality that enables you to recognize a mistake immediately when you make it again.

Dacap

Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

TommyBear (317561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805438)

There is Dragon Naturally speaking 9, which apparently is pretty good, but will SR ever really be the Star Trek kind? You can't really expect to use SR in a noisey environment. Has anyone here ever worked on a SR application?

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (4, Informative)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805515)

I have used Naturally Speaking, it can take a bit of time to train it, but if only you use it then you can eventually get it to the point where you can talk at a normal speed (although it has to be clear) and it will get to approaching 90% accuracy, sometimes I had it higher. The point was that it couldn't be used as an alternative to typing for extended periods though because you had to check everything it wrote.

One thing it did do which was good though is tried to understand sections of speech, rather than just each word, which did improve accuracy. Words often follow patters and there are few words that make sense after a word, so it was often right with "over there".

SR tech will eventually be as good as on star trek as long as people work on it. I would give it 20 years if it is seen as something which could make a lot of money, 40 if you have to wait for interested people to do it for free on their own time

20 years times the number of steps (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805647)

I would give it 20 years if it is seen as something which could make a lot of money

I would give it 20 years times the number of steps, with waiting at each step for the patents to run out, if Elektroschock is correct in his comment that it is a patent minefield [slashdot.org] .

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805669)

it will get to approaching 90% accuracy

90% accuracy is nowhere near enough for voice recognition in a dictation context. 90% accuracy means one word in every ten will be wrong. In this post, so far, that works out to more than one erroneous word per sentence. Factoring in the time taken to correct all of these, it is much slower than typing; especially if you need to interrupt flow to do the corrections.

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (2, Interesting)

Ougarou (976289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805519)

Well, I've taken a look at that (a while back): Dragon seems to be the leader, they get (with a month of traning) te best accurracy.
However, sound recognition engineers are slowly realizing that the problem of recognising words is not just the algorithm's fault. Even people arn't able to understand all words from a taped conversation in a cafeteria.

Dragon is currently the best, getting further will probably require more input, like a webcam to read your lips. This is just another Microsoft product where they read the wikipedia page on it, produced a flashy interface and packaged it with their OS. If you want sound recognition, don't go with Microsoft, they don't have the expertise.

PS: Don't forget, that getting a good or even special microfoon can make all the difference.

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805609)

What the hell is a microfoon? Is is possibly a fork-spoon that is incredibly small? Perhaps you make calls with a foon. Perhaps you're using Vista's voice recognition technology to formulate your post. Perhaps you're mouthing your words as you read this.

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805553)

Who cares if they ever get up to star trek level. The technology still sucks. It's much quicker and less annoying to the people around you to just type on your keyboard. Sure it has some uses such as those who don't have full use of their hands. We shouldn't abandon all research on the subject, becuase it does have it's uses, but I don't think it's something worth pushing on the general population, especially before the technology is actually ready. People already don't like their computers, pushing buggy technology like this out will just increase the problem.

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805599)

People who can't type [e.g. immobile, or totally lacking hands] may think otherwise.

The problem though, this is YET ANOTHER THING that should not be bundled with Windows. It should be sold as a third-party add-on. Even if MSFT produces it, it shouldn't be part of Windows unless a customer CHOOSES to buy and use it.

MSFT obviously has learned shit all from their anti-trust LOSS, and to them they can do whatever the hell they want.

Frankly, I look forward to the day where MSFT is just a footnote in a history text. It may not happen within the next decade but I see enough chips falling off the bastard.

Tom

Footnote: Microsoft was a monopolistic, backwards company that started the PC revolution. As a result of their shady business practices and poor quality control, Microsoft was solely responsible for the mass adoption of open source software. Ironically, the company that took choice away from the people, ensured that the people would still have choice. Today you can see the remains of Microsoft on display at the Smithsonian.

Accessibility? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805653)

The problem though, this is YET ANOTHER THING that should not be bundled with Windows.

Should a driver for the keyboard be bundled? To somebody who does not have use of hands, speech recognition is as indispensable as a keyboard driver. This is important when trying to get your product certified as disability-safe for use by agencies of governments.

Re:Accessibility? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805703)

Keyboard drivers are decidedly different from speech recognition software. For one, the competition on keyboard drivers is non-existent. Most keyboards are PNP compatible.

However, there IS competition in the voice recognition market. Microsoft bundling their stuff in Vista is an anti-trust violation just like bundling IE with Win98. Your government example is also moot. The IT people could install A DIFFERENT CERTIFIED PROGRAM on their Vista images. I seriously doubt the IT people will be the ones needing speech recognition software themselves.

In short, there is very little good motivation for limiting competition in this venue. There are many financial incentives in doing so, but fortunately they are not legal.

Tom

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805727)

And yet hasn't OS/2 come with this functionality for years? Once again M$ is just playing catchup to IBM.

-uso.

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (4, Insightful)

Skater (41976) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805555)

The computer in Star Trek (at least in the Next Generation) was WAY too smart. For it to do what it supposedly did in the show, it would have to be sitting there, monitoring the conversation all the time, and be totally able to understand the context of what was being said to know what to do. Not only when people directly asked the computer a question, but also when people wanted to converse with someone.

For example, how does the computer know that Picard wants to call Riker and isn't just talking about him? Oh and keep in mind the computer never misinterpreted something. In other examples, people would carry on intelligent conversations with the computer - all those holodeck scenes, Troi ordering chocolate, etc.

Star Trek-style of SR I think would be the holy grail and is probably always going to be out of reach. Barring some amazing breakthrough in AI algorithms, the computer power required just for the situations above would be incredible - and that's computer time that probably could be put to better use elsewhere, even if it was found to be possible.

I think the computer in the original Star Trek was more realistic - but even there the voice-recognition was far beyond what we're capable of today, as Microsoft has demonstrated so well. Plus all the blinkenlights that seemed to have no useful purpose were cool. ;)

Re: Speech Recognition vs. Fiction? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805610)

I'll second the previous comment. Star Trek grade SR is just another fiction device, present for the very reasons we read fiction: we DON'T want realism in our fiction! Reality is far too full of lost days of work because you discovered the approach you took crashed hard into some flaw.

I am an enthusiastic fan of Speech Production, because computers understand source text just fine. Hoping for miracles in Speech Recognition is at best 50 years away, and simply "wishing" at best. (If you insist loud enough, can you retroactively re-create the past?)

Even with better accuracy in their limited environments, I still find voice prompts irritating, because people around you have to put up with "... yes ... representative ... hardware ... other issue ... connect me." Then the computer misses one of the words, and you get "Sorry, I didn't get that."

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805646)

You don't think that we'll have more advanced technologies in.... 300 years?

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805691)

You know, I'm into computers in a big way and I read slashdot, so sometimes I worry that I'm too much of a nerd. But then dudes like you post stuff like that, and I realise I'm actually pretty well balanced. Cheers!

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (1)

wonkobeeblebrox (983151) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805701)

I'm faily good with computer programming....
BS from Carnegie-Mellon in Physics and CS and a Master's degree on top of that.

Give me until the year 2400 and I bet I'd get that "Star Trek NG" computer for ya.

Of course, someone needs to develop an "eternal-life" pill first...

Re:Is SR ever going to be good enough? (2, Insightful)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805668)

There is Dragon Naturally speaking 9, which apparently is pretty good, but will SR ever really be the Star Trek kind?
Probably. But it will have to get much better at using context. They're already using grammar as a cue, but it's going to take much more than that. Humans draw on memories of previous conversations, knowlege about the interests and mannerisms of the person speaking, and knowlege of the situation at hand. Even just knowing what's big in the news can help.

As for ambient noise, there's often useful contextual information there too. Ambient noise can give information about where the speech is occurring and about what is happening at that location. In some rare cases the ambient noise might even be responsive to the speech itself. The audience laughing in the example was a clue that a) an audience is watching, and b) the system made a mistake. A human would have recognized that and used it to advantage. For a speech recognition system to work as well as a human, it will not only have to get better at separating speech from ambient noise, but it will need to be able to recognize the ambient noise.

Funniest shit ever (0, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805443)

And totally the quality I'd come to expect from Microsoft.

you say:

Dear Mom,
Vista is gonna suck. Enjoy this powerbook instead.
Sincerely,
Little Girl

It hears:

Dear Aunt,
The explosives are deleted in the moon star night.
Buy more Vista.
Bite me,
Bitten World

Tom

A modest voice. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805447)

"During a demo of Vista's speech recognition technology, Vista couldn't differentiate between mom and aunt, and all attempts to rectify the problem just made it worse."

Ah, of courser the open source version is MUCH better.

Re:A modest voice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805523)

Open Source Speech Recognition?

I believe one such system is called Sphinx [sourceforge.net] .

I use this software right now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805448)

It is not as bad as you dog to the car in double tuesdays golf.

So? (5, Informative)

Klaidas (981300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805452)

This isn't the first presentation went wrong, isn't it?
Win98 gone wild: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hrbx9_AY720 [youtube.com]
Media Center Edition gone wild http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7EEbokKLHI [youtube.com]
We can add this one to the list too ;)

Re:So? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805707)

The XBox also crashed during its first public demo. Rumour has it that the developers were told that they had to make sure it never blue-screened in public again - and that's why when the XBox crashes you get a green screen of death.

Dear aunt (4, Informative)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805453)

For the flashless. Here's the format:
Microsoftie says this
Speech recogniser hears this


Dear mom
comma
Dear aunt,
[laughter]
Fix aunt
Let's set
Delete that
Delete that
Delete that
so
I think it's picking up a little bit of echo here
Delete... select all
double the killer delete select all
[laughter]


Final text:
Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all

Remember the Win98 BSOD? (4, Funny)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805459)

Not quite as embarrassing as the Windows 98 BSOD, but more entertaining than the Ballmer developer's video.

http://www.ntk.net/media/developers.mpg [ntk.net]

What is there to differentiate if mom=aunt? (0, Offtopic)

Browzer (17971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805463)

...

I'd love to see what it 'spat out'... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805467)

so does anybody have a download link to the clip as ogg/theora?

Thank you.

Re:I'd love to see what it 'spat out'... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805493)

that comment is as sad as the video.

are u serious? (1, Insightful)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805475)

"Don't you just love Microsoft's live demonstrations?"

As if MS is the only one who has problems with demonstrations. This is the problem with anti-ms guys... its not that MS is perfect, its just that the zelots are blinded by hate.

Re:are u serious? (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805526)

Microsoft routinely puts out their excellence over everyone else including OSS. Hear them talk about Office w.r.t. OpenOffice. They talk down about it, mock it, dismiss it, etc...

It's called modesty. If MSFT had any [and some humility] they wouldn't get laughed at so hard for this. I mean look at Linux. Find a bug in the Kernel, fix it, post notices that its. You don't see anyone saying "Oh hahaha, Linus is at it again!" That's because you also don't see Linus on CNN mocking the rest of the world.

Microsoft deserves all the negative press and humilitation they get because they are shameless, deceitful, greedy monopolistic bastards.

Tom

Re:are u serious? (2, Insightful)

NixLuver (693391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805538)

Nah, that's not it. I don't hate "Microsoft"; that's just a name on a door somewhere. I don't hate 'the corporation'; corporations are not individuals, no matter what the law would have us believe.

The reason I find this eminently amusing is that Microsoft is a company built on marketing. At no particular point has Microsoft had "The Superior Technical Solution"; they have always had luck and better marketing. Since DOS 3.3 there have frequently been products that were more stable, faster, easier to use - you name it. And Microsoft's captains have beaten them in two ways: Marketing and Money.

So of course when a company who has built their foundation on marketing flubs it, it's more amusing than when a company who has built their foundation on performance of one kind or another flubs it. It's inescapable that the Bg Dog gets more scrutiny than the Contender, anyway. And Microsoft apologists should understand that.

Re:are u serious? (1)

Mathiasdm (803983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805549)

*points*
Look, ma, no humour!

Speech recognition version:
Cook your aunt in liquor!

Re:are u serious? (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805566)

This is the problem with anti-ms guys... its not that MS is perfect, its just that the zelots are blinded by hate.

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

Re:are u serious? (4, Insightful)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805616)

"As if MS is the only one who has problems with demonstrations."

Hmmm, no. Maybe it's the way they deal with failures. Remember Bill gates trying hard to demonstrate the Media Center [google.com] ? Some time after that Steve Jobs gave his regular Macworld keynote when his Mac didn't respond anymore. He moved a monitor switch to continue the presentation on another Mac and said: "Well, that's why we have backup systems here."

Just from MicroSoft Insider (4, Funny)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805477)

Steve Ballmers accidently send an e-mail while diligently testing the software. The e-mail says:

"Sir put down the chair, then we'll talk"
"No Steve wait up, don't do that"
"BOOM CRASH BOOM CRASH BOOM CRAASH WAAAH NOOO STOOOOP"
"DUDE, THE COMP HAS A BSOD! WAAH!"

Follow Up Another Intercepted Mail! (1)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805488)

"No seriously, stop throwing that chair!"
"What the hell is wrong with your comp Steve!?"
"Is that even a BSOD? It's just skewed now!"
"How the fuck do you turn this thing off!"
"What does this button do?"
"It's doing crazy things man, maybe we should just pull the plug!"
"No Steve, throwing a chair at it doesn't work!"
"CRASH BOOM CRASH"

New e-mail intercepted! (1)

Seiruu (808321) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805545)

"Okay, Steve, I think it's back to normal again."
"What? Taking money out of the Xmas gift to pay for your chair and office damage? Well, wouldn't be the first time."
"But seriously man, just between you and me, but what's with all this MILF porn man?"
"Bill told you not to keep this shit on your protected network drive."
"Aw come on! Everybody knows your password is 'MacroBig'!"
"Imagine if the company digged deep enough?"
"Just in case this doesn't work out, we'll fire a bunch and write it off as "underperformed".
"Hey, what's that weird thing on your screen? OMG IT'S SENDING AN EMAIL, QUICK CUT IT O.F....."

Eek, I'm getting carried away here.

Show me yours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805478)

Ok, all you anonymous cowards. Show me your speech recognition engine. And show me your demo.

Re:Show me yours. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805659)

OK, here you go [apple.com]

Windows Redneck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805504)

Does this mean there's a lot of inbreeding going in Microsoft?

A little early for voice recognition (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805516)

Having seen some of the research that goes on, voice recognition is still far from good.
Yes it works in some contexts, especially if it's been trained with the person speaking, and the language is limited, such as in a professional environment.

but for home computers, it's not only overkill it's also inadequate and non-functional.
I say COOL feature, but hopeless waste of time and money, which in the end will be paid by you-know-who (not ms)

on another topic can someone please ask ms to stop the increasing and excessive stream of bundling?

Re:A little early for voice recognition (1)

techman2 (312067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805726)

I agree, after spending a fair amount of time with the Tablet PC we have at work I am not very impressed with the voice recognition. It takes many hours of training to even get it to be anything near useable. It's certainly not ready for prime time in my opinion.

It's hard (3, Funny)

wootest (694923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805527)

It's hard to wreck a nice beach. :)

Re:It's hard (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805546)

wootest wrote:
It's hard to wreck a nice beach. :)

Teddy Kennedy with his shirt off would certainly do it.

Why it sucks .... (0, Flamebait)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805541)

Here is a different perspective on why speech recognition STILL sucks;

Natural language interaction is one of BillG's hot buttons. Back in 95 he used to love demonstrating with poly the parrot. Polly the parrot could recognize speech and react to it - like "play miles davis". He demo'd it many times, and yes, it occasionally glitched but the potential was pretty cool. When he built his house, he put speech recognition technology all through it, thinking that it would be perfected very soon.

WTF happened? Well along came this distraction called 'the internet' and 'netscape'. And then another distraction called 'open source' and 'linux'. As a result of those distractions it set natural language recognition back 10 years. Yep, this is case where competition has stifled a particular innovation. I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, maybe competition encouraged 5 other innovations, but I am positive it stifled this one in particular.

Just a different thing to think about...

Re:Why it sucks .... (1)

Kent Recal (714863) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805606)

Well along came this distraction called 'the internet' and 'netscape'. And then another distraction called 'open source' and 'linux'. As a result of those distractions it set natural language recognition back 10 years. Yep, this is case where competition has stifled a particular innovation.

Nonsense.

Just in case you have been living under a rock for the last 15 years I have some news for you:
That kind of innovation doesn't come out of the microsoft campus. It comes out of universities.
And those couldn't care less about the NASDAX buzzword of the week...

Re:Why it sucks .... (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805723)

apparently the rock i'm under has more light than yours. Have you never heard of Micosoft Research? http://research.microsoft.com/ [microsoft.com] There is a lot of technology that comes from there, asshole.

Come on Microsoft... (1, Redundant)

Danga (307709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805543)

My guess is that the marketer "showing off" the voice recognition didn't properly train the software before the demonstration. If he did do that then he obviously did not pick and test something that was at least known to work which is not a bad idea when you are doing product demos. The software obviously has much work left since it interpreted the two syllable sentence "select all." as 13 syllables "so double the killer delete select all" (while it did finally get "select all" where the hell did the rest of that come from?). I am suprised that Microsoft had so much confidence they would go on live TV with it.

This is one reason that I believe until software is done being fully tested and is fully released that someone technical and who knows the software inside and out (one of the developers) should be demonstrating the products. Leave the non technical marketers to demonstrate products that they can't mess up, kind of like the classes they had to take in college to get a marketing degree.

Re:Demo Rules (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805645)

Demo Rules: 1) You never demo with out a script. 2) You never demo on any system that you did not use to create or at least test the script. 3) You never deviate from the script. 4) If someone wants to see something not in the script, show it to them later, in private.

Vista couldn't differentiate between mom and aunt (3, Funny)

jcraveiro (848243) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805547)

Maybe they're twin sisters... ;)

Re:Vista couldn't differentiate between mom and au (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805658)

Maybe his mom is his aunt.

Sequence of events (2, Funny)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805564)

"Dear mom comma"

Dear aunt,

"Fix aunt"

Dear aunt, let's set

"Delete that"

Dear aunt, let's set

"Delete that"

Dear aunt, let's set

"Delete that"

Dear aunt, let's set so

"I think it's picking up a little bit of echo here...delete - select all"

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

*Manually selects all and deletes*

"Okay, I'm glad you're enjoying this"

*Laughter*

Man, that brings back memories!!! (1, Informative)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805567)

Does Microsoft have to copy EVERYTHING??? I used OS/2 Warp for the second half of the 90s but my experience with _its_ built-in speech recognition was pretty much identical to that demo.

OS/2 Still Kicking Microsoft's Ass (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805581)

C'mon! IBM put on a great speech reco demo at the '95 Atlanta COMDEX. Their product worked flawlessly! Well... Except the guy fired it up and started talking and the little text editor was picking up the words when someone in the back of the audience yells "FORMAT C!" The crowd went wild and the guy doing the demo cracked up too, which caused the speech engine to freak out a bit. He had to delete a bunch of junk out of his text editor once things settled down.

Speech recognition is still just a gimmick anyway. We still have a LONG way to go before it gets to the point that Joe Average User imagines it should be. Joe average user wants his computer to respond like the one in Star Trek. I still want to set up my Asterisk server with speech recognition, though, so that people can either dial or say the extension they want. It'd also be neat to pick up the phone, say "Call Mom" to the dial tone and have it call my aunt for me.

Re: Speech Recognition or Thought Prediction? (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805639)

Related in there is the urge to have a computer "perfectly understand" everything, so they can indulge in unclear thinking. Not a day goes by without my supervisor saying, "So, how is that progressing?", referring to something about seven topics back. When I haven't a clue, I continually reply: "I don't understand the question."

Mature Porn Spam. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805582)

"Vista couldn't differentiate between mom and aunt"
Seems that the problem originated from spammers messing up the keyword-based research features. After cleaning up the Porn db Vista correctly differentiated all the different kinds of mature porn pictures.

removing ambient noise (4, Insightful)

sh0rtie (455432) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805611)



why not just use two mics, one to record the ambient noise (positioned away from the voice mic) the other to record the voice (headset) then as you have two signals just subtract the ambient noise signal from the heaset signal , voila clean headset mic audio

works for music too, you could control your music player by voice even when its playing loud (at a party) by removing the music signal from the mic signal

-AJS

A new "all your base"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805625)

Yeah, this was just as funny. Right... "Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all" HAHAH LOLOL!!1!1! I'm peeing my pants it's so funny.

Aunts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805652)

All your aunt are belong to Microsoft...

dreadful (1)

Marin3 (988561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805654)

omg...at least i had a good laugh xD

Dragon Naturally Speaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805662)

You're welcome. [nuance.com]

china, google video not available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805675)

argh, I hate living in china, ...google video is not available. Other things which are banned here are: bbc.com and most other western news sources (cnn.com is not banned strangely enough) google.com and google.cn chache wikipedia.com I have to resort to using an anonymiser for most of my surfing (www.anonymouse.com) I wonder how long untill they ban the whole internet, and replace it with a huge jpeg of Mao. (ps I'm a westerner, most chinese don't notice)

Wait . . did they say (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805680)

rare occasions?

Microsoft Innovation (2, Insightful)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805687)

OS/2 Warp had speech recognition in 1994 with OS/2 Warp. Better yet, the OS/2 version of netscape at the time was speech enabled (browse simply by speaking the link). Even cooler was that the netscape developers actually listened to the OS/2 community with that version (I remember them implementing something that I had asked for...very cool). Keep in mind that the average system of that time was a pentium 133 with 100MB of ram. And here we are at 2006, With GHz processors and GBytes of RAM dirt cheap, and M$ is just now starting to experiment with this? By now this technology should be damned near perfectly integrated across the board! Thanks for abusing your monopoly power to destroy all of the competition and REAL innovation, Microsoft!

MS must have outsourced SR dept to India (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15805717)

They hired the outsourcing tech support firm that just splitted with Dell. Vista probably understands Dell tech support lackeys just fine.
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