While Samsung’s Bixby has only been able to just add English to its smart assistant’s language understanding capabilities, Google is adding improving its own voice-recognition on its smartphones by adding 30 new languages for recognition.
With the addition of these 30 languages, Google will now be able to support 119 languages in total. Included in the update for the voice recognition tech, Google will now support 8 new Indian languages, along with Swahili and Amharic, which are both considered to be widely used in Africa and are the most spoken in the continent. This means that more people will be able to access the voice-typing abilities of the GBoard app from Google as well as the Google Assistant.
Google collected speech samples from various native speakers by studying the common phrases spoken and training the machine learning models to understand the sounds and the words of the new languages. Through more use, the accuracy will be increased over time. The voice recognition will also be accessible with Google’s other services such as the Translate App. The voice recognition feature of the app is a useful feature that allows users to dictate messages and search their web when they are unable to type it on the phone. There is another new feature that Google has added that can also type of different emoji such as the winky face emoji or the smiling emoji. The new emoji feature will come first on the English speakers and then move on to the rest of the supported languages.
The languages and the voice-recognition tech is part of Google’s Cloud Speech API, which is available for all developers and third-party apps. This means that the voice-recognition can also be made available for other apps as well and not just Google’s own. This will allow for Google’s resources and apps to be used in more broadly in third-world regions such as India and Africa where access to such convenient tech is almost impossible to find. Many existing platforms and apps use Google’s Cloud Speech API such as transcription services, speech analytics applications, IVR applications and more.
This update comes in light after a report from The Wall Street Journal that indicated how tech companies are now re-routing their efforts towards the emerging markets since the largest internet users in the world reside from those regions.