Google is extending its speech recognition technology to many more users around the world, introducing mobile dictation to 30 new languages and dialects. The company says this means its speech recognition technology now “supports 119 language varieties,” according to a blog post announcing the upgrade.
The new support includes two of Africa’s biggest languages, Amharic and Swahili; a number of Indian languages; and even some regionally specific English dialects in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania. The language support is available through Android’s Gboard voice dictation app and in the Google app’s Voice Search function; and to developers through Google’s Cloud Speech API.
It’s Google’s latest step in an intensifying race to develop sophisticated voice command technology as voice becomes a key user interface on mobile and through the emerging Internet of Things. Following Google’s efforts with Google Docs last year, Microsoft enabled dictation for its Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint programs this summer, as other companies have moved ahead with their own offerings.
While Google is helping to extend natural language support around the world, in the US its new update will also do its part to destroy the Queen’s English with a new feature that lets users dictate emojis, with phrases like “smiley face emoji” conjuring the corresponding iconography.
Source: The Keyword