Mon, 22 Jul, 2019

Using Google’s Voice Search

By Sushil Awale

Picture Courtesy: DWIT News

Google has been our best friend when it comes to searching things on the internet. All of us have typed our queries on the search box, but have you tried the Google Voice Search? One intuitively may think it is stupid talking to a computer or one may even think, just as I did, it’s inefficient. But, Google Voice Search, since its inception in 2009, has gone through a significant improvement and comes with some cool and useful features.

For example, if you ask Google, “What is the capital of Nepal?” it’ll quickly show results and also talk back the answer to us. It answers from the first link shown in the result. The result for the above question would be answered as “Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal.”

The distinguishing feature of Google Voice Search is you can follow up on the question. For example, you can ask “What is the time?” and google would give back the current time of Nepal. You can again, follow up this question with other questions such as “What is the weather?” “What is the population?” and google would answer us in the context of the previous question, in this case, Nepal.

Moreover, you can use Google Voice with Android, previously known as Google Now but now it’s known as Google Assistant, which integrates with the apps in the mobile. For example, you can ask Google to set tomorrow’s alarm for 6am or ask google to book a movie ticket for you, ask to play songs from your music library, create short notes and much more.

Using google voice doesn’t feel like giving commands to the computer rather it feels more like having a conversation with the computer. According to phonearena.com, google uses powerful servers in the cloud to process our speech using the neural network models. It analyzes the patterns in our voice to predict the new patterns. It breaks our speech into consonants and vowels and then makes intelligent guesses of words.

Google’s Voice Search is not perfect. It still can’t understand some similar sounding words and it is inefficient in noisy places. It is also not useful if you want to do detailed research. But, it is much better than the first time it was introduced, and we can only expect it to get better. Google’s Voice search shows us how far we have come in the field of computer science and where we are heading in the future.

Here is a compilation of some fun google voice commands to try out:

  • Flip a coin
  • Roll dice
  • Who’s on first?
  • Who are you?
  • Make me a sandwich