I heard this on the radio this morning and thought it was pretty funny!
Topic: Mobile Phones
[size=18]iPhone Google Voice Search Stumped by British Accent[/size]
Posted on Thu, 20 Nov 2008 13:01:38 GMT | by Shane McGlaun
Google's new voice recognition search engine for the iPhone has hit a glitch - it is stumped by British accents.
The application developed in the U.S cannot recognise regional twangs.
Users say the technology mistook the word 'iPhone' for 'sex,' 'Einstein' and even 'kitchen sink'.
The Google Mobile App is designed to work just like the traditional search engine. Rather than typing a query on the iPhone, users speak their search term and then view the results on the screen.
Saying the word pizza should spring up a selection of local pizza restaurants and invite you to call them with a single click of the phone.
And uttering 'Barack Obama' should bring you all the latest Google results about the new U.S. president.
But one user with a Kentish accent was clearly unhappy with his experience.
When Roger Ellinson, 26, from Maidstone asked for her nearest pizza take away, it delivered 'something about volcanoes.'
Asked about his nearest pub, the screen flashed up 'some kind of weird dating website.'
'I'll have to try to put on my best American accent to get it to work,' he concluded.
Similar problems are reported on the application's website, AFP said.
"Awesome job google," one commenter wrote. "Only problem is every time I say the word 'fish' it registers as 'sex'."
Accents from different parts of Britain brought back different results after voice-searching for 'iPhone', the Daily Telegraph reported.
A search by a Yorkshireman brought back results for "bonfire", a Kent accent brought back "my sister", and a Surrey accent returned "MySpace".
Welsh accents fared the worst, returning "gorillas" and "kitchen sink", while a Scotsman was given results for "sex".
Online forums have shown a dramatic trans-Atlantic divide in response, with US users waxing lyrical about the service but British users stumped.
A user from Lincolnshire said his Irish lilt was a drawback.
'Irish obviously isn't the best accent to have. I tried about 20 different 2-4 word phrases and not one came out right,' he wrote.
But a spokesman for Google said the tool is not designed for UK accents.
He said: 'The product is for U.S. English. You're welcome to use it, but we can't guarantee it'll work with British accents.'