Thursday, December 17, 2009

Japanese Voice Search System (音声検索), For Android And iPhone

Japanese Voice Search System (音声検索)

As a person who spends a better half of the year in Japan, I use Japanese regularly. In my speech, reading  and computing. I also use Japanese every where I happened to be because my better half to be is Japanese.
All my computers have the Japanese language option enabled. I also used a voice recognition system when I learned Japanese to verify my pronunciation. It is not easy to convince my computer that my Japanese pronunciation is good but I never thought about the technical aspects of the voice recognition system related to my Japanese learning, until I read the article below.
The Japanese Voice Search is available on Android platform and Google Mobile App on iPhone. There is a How to get started article on Google Japan mobile and Google Japan blog has an article as well. (Both require that you read Japanese! :) The developers can find some information on the recognizer API on Android Developer site.
But I sure am going to try it, when I am in Japan at the end of the month.I think I can prove to Google, that I can speak Japanese or I will make the real Japanese wonder why is this guy shouting at his phone in an strange accent, which one of the aspects Google had to work on;
Every speaker sounds different
People speak in different styles, slow or fast, with an accent or without, have lower or higher pitched voices, etc. To make it work for all these different conditions we trained our system on data from many different sources to capture as many conditions as possible.

Official Google Research Blog: Teaching a Computer to Understand Japanese


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