We already have self-driving cars and AI robots – so what’s next the next big step in the world of technology? According to Ben Gomes, the head of Google search, says that speech recognition could become the newest trend in the tech world.
The internet giant is already making huge advances in voice services to find better ways to understand the common language.
Future of Internet
Gomes said that the future of Google search and online information depends on speech recognition – but that on its own is not enough. We need to teach computers how to understand the language and how reference works.
For example, when someone issues voice command in their local language, not only should the search engine be able to understand the meaning of each word but also know what they are referring to in a sentence. But that is just one of the million trivial problems to tackle with, when teaching computers to understand language.
It has been almost 7 years since Google launched its speech-to-text search feature. Ever since voice recognition has become an integral part of smart devices like phones, laptops and other home devices. The technology has been imbedded into Google’s search as well as its android OS which is used in billions of smartphones around the world.
Speech Recognition in Developing Countries
The speech recognition has also been gaining traction in developing countries where literacy rates are quite low. While talking to The Guardian on September 24, just ahead of Google’s 20th anniversary, Gomes said that speech recognition seemed an advanced technology in developed countries but in places like India where not many people can write a language, the speech-to-text feature is a basic necessity.
Gomes, who was born in Tanzania and raised in Bangalore, is well-familiar with cultures with low literacy rates.
Gomes says that common keyboards weren’t really commonplace in India while he was growing up there. So while he had been speaking hindi for over a decade, he had difficulty in typing it.
The speech recognition feature made it lot easier to interact with electronic devices. Google isn’t new to the concept of understanding languages. In the year 2000, it started correcting spellings and adding softer words for other languages to its search vocabulary.
Gomes describes these words as not having the same hardness as more specific words which belong to the jargon of a specialist area. For example someone may type in the search box ‘how to change brightness of a monitor’, where ‘change’ is a softer alternative for a more specific word ‘adjust’.
There are several obstacles that lay ahead for computers in understanding language the same way humans do. But, a revolution in speech recognition could be game-changing for finding and using information on the internet.