Google has improved voice searches for phone and computer applications to help it understand Australian accents and slang terms such as footy and servo.
It has also improved its recognition of difficult place names such as Tibooburra and Unanderra. Also added to its newly learned vocabulary is the term “drop bear”, an Australian slang term used to describe a fictional bear-like animal that drops from trees.
Poor voice recognition for Australian accents has been a persistent issue for users across platforms, Google are hoping this tweak will resolve the issue.
Apple had already tweaked Siri in 2014 to add both an Australian voice to the system and improve its voice recognition. iPhone users can choose between male and female voices in seven different accents, including those from New Zealand and Singapore, but Scottish users still report difficulties in being understood.
Google has released a song on YouTube to show off Google’s new skills, running through a series of Australian places such as Wollongong, Geelong, Cabramatta, Parramatta and Wangaratta.
Not surprisingly, the song is a condensed version of Geoff Mack’s I’ve Been Everywhere. Are you convinced?
A Google spokeswoman said: “People are starting to talk to their mobile devices more regularly. In fact, mobile voice searches have more than doubled in the past year alone.”
“We wanted to make sure that Aussies were hearing an Australian voice speaking back to them.”
Google’s overhauled search function will be available on Android phones, and also on iPhones when using Google tools, such as its separate mapping app.
Via The Guardian