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Googley

Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Dave!While watching one of the most awesome episodes of Survivor ever made tonight, I suddenly needed to know what the original line-up of the Kota Tribe was on the show. My laptop was handy, but I had been dying to try out the new "Google App" on my iPhone because it's been new and improved with "voice search functionality." The idea is that you start up the app, then speak the search term you want to look for, and Google will interpret your words and display the search results. Simple, right?

Not so much.

After a couple of failed searches, I started writing down the results I was getting. Despite being in a quiet room with no ambient noise, Google simply could not understand me... no matter how many times I tried or how many ways I tried pronouncing it. Heaven only knows how much worse it would be if you tried using it on a busy street or something.

Google Voice Search: "Kota Tribe"
Contact Ride
Hotel Triton
Xhosa Tribe
Totect Ride
Kotek Tribe
Kotak Tribe
Xhosa Tribe
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Survivor Kota Tribe"
Survivor Hotel Triton
Survivor Cook A Tri
Survivor Cook Islands Tribe
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Survivor Tribe Kota"
Survivor Tribe Hotel
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Survivor Gabon Kota"
Survivor Gabon Coachella
Survivor Gabon Code 10
Survivor Gabon Code
Survivor Gabon Costco
Survivor Gabon Cocktail
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Charlie Herschel"
CHARLIE HERSCHEL!
Result: SUCCESS!

Google Voice Search: "Survivor Randy"
SURVIVOR RANDY!
Result: SUCCESS!

Google Voice Search: "Sugar Voted Randy"
Sugar Coated Candy
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Sugar Voted for Randy"
Sugar Coated for Randy
Sugar Voted for Tent
Result: FAIL!

Google Voice Search: "Pushing Daisies Cancelled"
PUSHING DAISIES CANCELLED!
Result: SUCCESS!

Google Voice Search: "Blogography"
Blog Argosy
Bloc Party
Blog Ography
Blog Authority
Barbara Griffin
Blockbuster Inc
Result: ULTIMATE FAIL!

We've got a while to go before machines are smart enough to interpret voice commands with an acceptable rate of accuracy. Until then, it's just a novelty that wastes more time than it saves... at least it is in this case. Still, it's a very good idea, and I hope Google improves it over time. If they can get it to work better, it would sure beat having to type on a phone.


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Comments

  1. I am so in love with Sugar.

    And sorry the iphone thing didn’t work well. My husband has one and is always grumbling about how one thing or another doesn’t work. I use that to make myself feel better about not having one.

  2. B.E. Earl says:

    I argued with a friend of mine about the “awesomeness” of last night’s Survivor. While it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy (Randy), all of the events in last night’s show were pretty much given away from the promos. I’ve got to stop watching those.

  3. ssp says:

    Come on, how can ‘Sugar Coated Candy’ be FAIL?

  4. Wade says:

    One and two syllable words offered the greatest results for me. More than that was hit-or-miss. It did pass the “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” test on the very first try, only with a slighty different spelling. Perhaps updates would improve accuracy.

  5. claire says:

    I loathe support numbers that make you say words instead of punching in #s on my phone. I end up having to shout to be understood which does not make it a calm, pleasant experience for me. Also having to repeat myself just makes it take longer. ggrrr.

  6. SJ says:

    OMG, I totally was just at the Survivor Gabon Costco!!!

    I was THRILLED to see Randy go last night, although it’s bound to make for less drama now. And does Sugar remind anyone else of Kate Hudson?

  7. whall says:

    Ok, who already knew what Google would say when you did Sugar Coated Randy?

    *counting hands*

    oh, just me? Never mind then.

  8. Crail00 says:

    It may be my Scottish accent (been away for over 53 years :-O ) but voice recognition is still an issue with me.

    Och, whit dae a huv tae dae tae solve that probelum?

    LO

  9. Hilly says:

    Did you voice search for “funkiest night of your life”? Do it…do it!

    :)

  10. the patient says:

    What, nobody noticed that PUSHING DAISIES IS BEING CANCELED!!!

    You introduced me to the show and now I find out indirectly that it has been canceled. Along with Eli Stone and Dirty Sexy Money.

    Better go fire up my netflix account again because soon there’ll be nothing on tv… again.

  11. Kris says:

    When machines can interpret my commands “more, deeper, faster, more, more, more” I’ll be a happy camper.

  12. Karl says:

    Yeah, the voice thing doesn’t work well on Google, but have you tried the Jott app? It’s freakily accurate.

  13. Bummer to hear the Google app with voice commands isn’t working out so great. I guess I’ll skip the download.

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