Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Google Explains Secret to Its Siri Competitor

By - Source: CNET | B 13 comments

Google has explained the secret to the company's recently released update for its search app that added voice compatibility.

Ultimately, the quality of the app's service is based off a pool of data. Google said that the more data there is available, the better all web services will become. For better speech recognition, though, it means how that data is actually organized.

The company's voice search technology predominately utilizes data from anonymous queries on Google's search engine to receive the information it requires.

"The language model is the component of a speech recognizer that assigns a probability to the next word in a sentence given the previous ones," Google research scientist Ciprian Chelba said. "As an example, if the previous words are 'new york,' the model would assign a higher probability to 'pizza' than say 'granola.'"

Researching data for its voice search app led to Google scientists using up to 230 billion words from "a random sample of anonymized queries from Google.com that did not trigger spelling correction."

Chelba added that such a large batch of data can lead to word error rates being reduced by 6 to 10 percent. For systems that boast a wider range of operating points, meanwhile, Google said that word error reduction rates can be between 17 and 52 percent.

According to initial reaction, Google's Siri competitor delivers more solid results than Apple's own voice assistant. For example, in addition to delivering answers quicker than Siri, the app also shows voice transcriptions as queries are spoken by users; Siri only carries this out when a user is done talking.

 

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback

Display 13 Comments.
This thread is closed for comments
Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , November 2, 2012 7:19 AM
    Now there is a clear home court advantage for Google of course as Apple simply does not have that kind of data pool available.
    That's gotta sting.

Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    ivyanev , November 2, 2012 6:23 AM
    Well the biggest difference for me is that it undurstands Bulgarian ;)  , So it is not a race at all.
  • 11 Hide
    freggo , November 2, 2012 7:19 AM
    Now there is a clear home court advantage for Google of course as Apple simply does not have that kind of data pool available.
    That's gotta sting.

  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 2, 2012 7:20 AM
    This will force Apple to update the quality of Siri, so good news all around for all product users.
  • 0 Hide
    archange , November 2, 2012 7:36 AM
    Great job, Ciprian Chelba, keep up the good work!
  • 0 Hide
    chibiwings , November 2, 2012 9:43 AM
    In our country most of us are not english speaking natively but we have a neutral accent when speaking. but both software doesn't do any good when we used it..
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 2, 2012 10:35 AM
    Ciprian Chelba is a romanian name. Romania rules with geeks :)  ! Hai Romania
  • 0 Hide
    thebigt42 , November 2, 2012 12:08 PM
    Does it kill the battery like Siri???
  • 0 Hide
    SneakySnake , November 2, 2012 2:29 PM
    thebigt42Does it kill the battery like Siri???


    Siri doesn't kill your battery. I use it a few dozens times a day, and my 4S gets the same battery life as my gf's who doesn't ever use Siri.
  • 2 Hide
    makaveli316 , November 2, 2012 4:18 PM
    Am i the only one who think, that all those voice recognitions software are overhyped and useless?
    If we put aside people who want to look cool in front of other people by talking to the phone, who the hell use it? I can't imagine my self at home talking to the phone to do stuff for me.
    Maybe it's just me, but i prefer to tap twice and make a call.
    Plus i tried it few times and if your mother language isn't english, it is even more messy.
  • 0 Hide
    jaquith , November 2, 2012 4:28 PM
    For those with earlier iPhone's e.g. 4 it's the only option. Either works fine.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , November 2, 2012 5:20 PM
    "Am i the only one who think, that all those voice recognitions software are overhyped and useless?"

    No you arent the only one! I always laugh at the voice crap, it always seems like peopel are fighitng with it.

    For an exaggerated example:

    First person says: call bob
    Phone says: Did you mean call susan?(sure its not that bad, but you get the idea)
    ...and then if someone is standing next to them....
    Second person standing next to them: excuse me?
    First: Oh im talking to my phone(translation: im cool and your not)
    Second person: uh huh(translation: your a retard)
    First: (internal delusion: im so cool i got a talking phone, everyone likes me)

    I always laugh at these people. Its far quicker to just tap 3 or 4 times and just call the person.
  • 0 Hide
    xero141 , November 2, 2012 9:20 PM
    thebigt42Does it kill the battery like Siri???


    don't have an iphone to test against but a quick guess is if you talk to it for hours on end, then yes...
  • 0 Hide
    ronindaosohei , November 3, 2012 5:06 AM
    makaveli316Am i the only one who think, that all those voice recognitions software are overhyped and useless?If we put aside people who want to look cool in front of other people by talking to the phone, who the hell use it? I can't imagine my self at home talking to the phone to do stuff for me. Maybe it's just me, but i prefer to tap twice and make a call.Plus i tried it few times and if your mother language isn't english, it is even more messy.


    The first major advantage of voice for me is while driving, I can hit the button on my bluetooth headset and tell it to do all kinds of things, which would be awkward to do while driving. It's also getting a lot better with queries to the point where it can now be faster than typing if you've got a phone with Google Now, you also get those additional updates, which are helpful. For the most part though I've always figured the best part is the intelligence not the voice. For example the notion of saying "Siri, remind me to get milk when I'm at the grocery store", if it's actually successful, the appeal isn't voice, it's the intelligence to know to remind you and to know where you are, that's the real power.
Tom’s guide in the world
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • UK
Follow Tom’s guide
Subscribe to our newsletter