The iPhone 4S was an evolution of the iPhone 4 and so it meant that features like Siri got a lot more attention that it possibly deserved – but it seems as if Google took notice and is in the process of developing its own voice recognition AI system
Codenamed Majel – in deference to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the original voice of the Federation Computer from Star Trek – Google is said to be very close to releasing it on its Android platform.
Currently most smartphones and tablets can utilise Voice Actions which only allows you to use a limited set of predefined commands such as “send text to” or “navigate to.” The new system will allow you to perform actions in your natural language.
According to a source who spoke to the website Android and Me, Google’s Majel will be “as good, or better, than Siri.” This source claims to have used an early version of the software and says that on tablets at least, it will let you “sort through different answers with these swipe-able trays.”
This means that the first answer to your query may return a Google image result, the second a Wikipedia entry and another a location-based answer with the user able to quickly swipe between the answers.
The source also claims that at least one phase of the development of Majel, you would be able to active the voice assistant by saying Computer – just like Jean Luc Piccard did on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise.
It is thought that the Majel project is being developed at the highly secret Google X labs where Google dreams up radical ideas for the future. While it was initially believed that Majel could be released as soon as this year, it now seems more likely that it will be unveiled early next year.
Google acquired, Phonetic Arts, at the end of 2010, which was a speech synthesis company based in Cambridge, England and is using this technology topower Majel.