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Speech and voice recognition technology have been around for half a century, but it’s still far from mainstream. Where are the machines that write down what we say? Where are the appliances that simply work based on voice commands?
The answer is that speech technology is a tough business. Not only does a machine have to recognize words, but it has to process accents, sentence structure, grammar, language, noise and other factors that help a machine distinguish “pain” from “pane” and a television from a human being.
That’s changing, though, thanks in no small part to Google‘s efforts in developing voice recognition tech. Since 2008, Google has been steadily releasing products that turn voice into text and voice into action. It started with Google Search by Voice for Android, but most recently debuted as an alternative way to search for content on the desktop.