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  What did Google rely on to beat Apple's Siri?


  Voice recognition technology is critically important,not just for mobile phones,but potentially for control of lots of other devices,particularly televisions.It is still early days,but if you're thinking about which side will win in the battle between Apple's Siri and Google Voice Search,consider the lesson of spell check.

  語音識別技術不僅對于手機產業來說至關重要,而且對很多其他設備,特別是電視機的控制來說,也十分關鍵。該技術目前尚處于初級階段,但如果你在思考,到底“蘋果語音助手”(Apple’s Siri)和“谷歌語音搜索”(Google Voice Search)誰會在這場競爭中取勝,那就想想拼寫檢查給我們的啟示吧。

  When Eric Schmidt was still chief executive of Google,I asked him what the company owned that would make it particularly hard for any emerging search contender to wipe Google out.Spell check,he said.Google had observed the spelling mistakes and corrections typed into billions of queries,and had a vast understanding of what people really meant when they typed like thsi.Google was able to use this knowledge to offer a"did you mean"function in search,eventually completing queries before people were finished typing.

  當埃里克·施密特(Eric Schmidt)還是谷歌首席執政官的時候,我問他,谷歌到底擁有什么,能讓它不被任何新出現的搜索引擎打倒。拼寫檢查,他回答道。谷歌仔細研究了輸入查詢框的數十億信息的拼寫錯誤和修正,因此非常清楚用戶出現像“thsi”這樣的拼寫錯誤時,他們實際想要表達的意思是什么。有了這種了解,谷歌在搜索中提供了“您是不是想找”的功能,最終做到了在人們完成輸入之前,就將問題補充完整。

  Other companies would not be able to get that learning,he said,since people had come to expect search engines to fix their spelling.The customers would stay with Google,where that problem was solved.Microsoft Bing has proved Mr.Schmidt was not entirely correct in Google owning spell check,but it does take a company of Microsoft's size to come at the problem.

  他表示,其他公司不會有這樣的學習積累,因為人們已經開始指望搜索引擎來修正他們的拼寫??蛻羧詴^續使用已經解決了這個問題的谷歌。微軟必應(Microsoft Bing)證明,施密特關于谷歌獨有拼寫檢查功能的說法并不完全正確,但也只有微軟這種規模的大公司才能應付這樣的問題。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz/

  It is common around the world to use Google to check one's spelling now,and it's common inside Google to use that same ancillary learning on new products.


  That is probably why Google Voice Search,in its Siri-like manifestation in the new Jelly Bean version of the Android operating system,appears to be winning the heart of my colleague Nick Bilton.Nick says Google Voice Search appears to have better understanding of what he's talking about,and can answer questions better.There are also numerous videos on the Web showing its prowess.

  這也許就是“谷歌語音搜索”似乎深受我同事尼克·比爾頓(Nick Bilton)追捧的原因。在安卓操作系統“軟糖豆”(Jelly Bean)的升級版中,它看起來和Siri相似。尼克說,“谷歌語音搜索”對他所說的話識別能力似乎更強,而且回答問題也更出色。網上也有大量視頻展示了這款產品的威力。

  If Google is better,it is most likely because it has roots in a product Google introduced in 2007,called Google-411,or Google Local Voice Search.Ostensibly a product that provided free directory assistance,Google was mostly interested in capturing the way different people pronounced words.

  如果說谷歌的表現更好,這極可能是因為谷歌2007年推出的一款產品為上述技術奠定了基礎。這款產品名為“谷歌411“(Google-411),或稱“谷歌本地語音搜索”(Google Local Voice Search)。這款產品表面上是為了提供免費信息查詢,其實讓谷歌最感興趣的,是掌握不同人的發音方式。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.244129.buzz/

  While the Jelly Bean version of Voice Search is new,Google's linguists have five years of data on billions of pronunciations.A year ago,just for the English language,Google had a database of 230 billion word strings,and had worked on 23 other languages,based largely on 411 and related voice-based search products,including an earlier version of Voice Search.It's another spell check.


  Apple never worked on that kind of feature,which is one reason Siri is one of the few products Apple officially released in beta form.It is building up its database of speech during Siri's early life.Some of the cute ways Siri talks when it does not understand a question,such as repeating back what you have said,may in fact be efforts to see if you will correct its understanding,somewhat in the way Google learned spell check.Google Voice Search on Jelly Bean is starting late,but its quality advantage from all that learning beforehand is what makes it better in the early days.


  That is not the only area where Google develops one product for the sake of another.The Google Goggles application on Android,which uses computer-driven image recognition to help identify an object the customer photographs,is also a product for use in connection with Google Maps.You can take a picture of a street in Goggles,and if Google Maps has taken a picture of that place with its Street View cars,it can tell you where you are.

  開發一個產品是為了另一個產品,語音識別并不是谷歌這么做的唯一領域。安卓系統上的“谷歌眼鏡”(Google Goggles)應用,使用電腦圖像識別技術,能幫助確認用戶所拍攝的物體,也是一款能與谷歌地圖(Google Maps)聯合使用的產品。你可以用“谷歌眼鏡”拍一條街,如果谷歌地圖也用“街景”(Street View)車拍過這個地點,它就能告訴你,你現在是在什么地方。



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