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Chrome 11 Beta Brings Speech-To-Text

David Gilbert

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Chrome 11 Beta Brings Speech-To-Text

With Firefox 4 hitting over five million downloads in its first 24 hours around the globe, Google decided this was the best time to release a beta version of Chrome 11 – bringing with it speech-to-text capabilities.

Google’s constant updating of the Chrome browser shows no signs of abating with the 11th edition coming less than 30 months after it launched in September 2008. While the first thing people may notice about this latest update is the new logo, what is certainly the main new feature is the inclusion of the HTML5 speech input API. Google has been working with a group called the HTML Speech Incubator Group and the result will allow developers create web apps which will have the ability to transcribe your voice to text.

When a web page uses this feature, you simply click on an icon and then speak into your computer’s microphone. The recorded audio is sent to speech servers for transcription, after which the text is typed out for you. You can even give it a whirl for yourself here - though only if you’re using Chrome of course. The other feature Chrome 11 Beta will bring is a peak at hardware accelerated 3D CSS, which allows developers to apply slick 3D effects to web page content using CSS. Reports last month suiggest Chrome was in for a radical over haul but this release doesn;t seem to be it.

You can download Chrome 11 Beta here

Source: Google Chrome Blog

chakkravarthi

March 23, 2011, 9:37 pm

I tried speech recognition, its good with detecting single words, but when I spoke out simple sentences it seems to mess up. Like when I spoke " How are you" it recognized as "I Love You" which is bit weird lol..

Neo

March 23, 2011, 9:48 pm

I sincerely hope that the speech recognition is good for the final version as I would find it useful.

I'm surprised they changed the logo, as the old one was the best in my humble opinion.

Chris2510

March 23, 2011, 10:06 pm

tried the speech recognition too. Had the same problem as @chakkravarthi above - did one or two words, got confused after that. 'Testing Chrome Beta' came out as '#### Chrome' - not sure if it's self-censoring what it *thought* I said....

betelgeus

March 24, 2011, 3:41 am

Have to say the new icon is hideous,after half a day on my toolbar i'm sick of it,feels like windows 95 again or something.

mikfrak

March 24, 2011, 4:52 am

Speech recognition does not work.Period.It's not enough to recognise sounds and match them statistically with likely words. You have to know what the words actually mean. This is true for humans as much as machines. We don't listen with our ears ... we listen with our brains which are continuously filling in the gaps and making sense of the vibrating air around us. That's why we can make sense of people with strange accents where the sounds no longer match up with what we expect to hear, even in a noisy street. All speech recognition will continue to be rubbish with every cough, passing bus, swallow or sigh turned into phrases that are complete gibberish, until we have machines with genuine AI.

Hamish Campbell

March 24, 2011, 12:46 pm

OOOOOoooh can't wait to have spoken passwords on websites.

Living out my childhood sci-fi dreams.

jingyeow

March 24, 2011, 1:06 pm

The logo isn't bad. But it reminds me of IE9. Not a good thing me thinks.

PGrGr

March 24, 2011, 2:15 pm

I beg to differ with the speech recognition skeptics. I haven't tried the Chrome version yet, but I frequently use the Goog's voice search on my phone, which presumably uses the same process and servers. I find that for short phrases and words ie the kind of thing one searches for, it's generally quite accurate. Obviously, there's room for lot's of improvement, but it's still early days for this kind of thing.

Agreed that it's not up to substituting typing, say, an entire letter, yet.

Hamish Campbell

March 24, 2011, 3:09 pm

Maybe you fools gotta stop mumbling.

xbrumster

March 24, 2011, 6:38 pm

ugly logo.

design team from google should be spanked.

HarryGlass

March 24, 2011, 6:52 pm

I've not tried it, but since it's "beta" perhaps the voice recognition only works with US accents. Hal isn't ready for us Brits.

mjaffk

March 25, 2011, 4:07 pm

I'm neither a Brit nor a US citizen, but it does recognise my voice more or less correctly.
Nice ####'s btw!

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