Voice assistants are now an integral part of our daily life.
Most of us are using it to make daily google searches, listening to music and so on. However, despite being one of the awesome technology, voice assistants are yet to get some of the advanced features. One of those advanced features is the voice recognition.
Well, we are not saying that voice assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri are not capable of voice recognition but if you notice these voice assistants are only good for recognizing native English speakers voice and works the best for them.
On the other hand, if a non-native English speaker tries to have a conversation with the voice assistants they face difficulties.
However to make it easy for the voice assistant to understand non-native English speakers Voicebot.Ai started with a set of three speakers and formed a team.
Various Voice App Service development companies are working to improvise the overall experience of the users.
The company asked the team to evaluate the accents of each subject and rate them on a six-point scale. In the point scale, there are “5 corresponds to native or near-native performance and score near 1 indicates a solid and very hard to understand the accent.” These subjects include:
English with US accent 5.3 (native, near-native)
English with Indian accent 3.7 (moderate accent)
English with Chinese accent 3.2 (moderate accent)
Furthermore, Voicebot.ai in their test found that each voice assistant is cable of recognizing around 36 spondaic words at a constant volume. Plus it was able to recognize the voice when the test speaker spoke from a distance.
They also have said that the voice assistants are capable of recognizing US and Indian accents pretty easily. However, when it comes to recognizing the English speaker from China, Google works out the best compared to other ones.
Even when it comes to smart speakers, Google again stood out in this test compared to the other smart speakers. During the test, it was found that Google is capable of recognizing voice which includes background noise. Researches played a background sound while making a voice command and Google was pretty accurate to recognize it. The speech in noise (SIN) loss was 0% for US accent, 2% for Indian accent and 6% for the Chinese accent.
However, for the Apple Siri, the SIN number was 8%, 11%, and 14% respectively. And for Amazon Alexa, it was 11%, 15%, and 19%. These definitely offers a conclusion that Siri and Alexa are not capable of hearing the user when the background noise is too high.
Even this is not the end, In fact, Google continues to win the speech recognition game. In the next test, researchers did a taste on how an ASR system performs across different volume levels and in this test as well, Google won again for each of the accents.
Here is what researchers had said about the test:
Siri’s maximum range is 6dB, and for this evaluation, we consider anything more significant than 5dB as significant. This suggests that people with a Chinese accent may have to speak louder to be understood by Siri intentionally.
In the end, it was found that most of the voice assistants are only capable of understanding USA citizens voice easily. However, in this growing world, it is quite necessary to understand the needs of every region users and Google is doing pretty good at it. Google is slowly understanding different voice accents and serving the users in a better way.
Even there are some data which suggests that there are massive regional variants in voice assistant performance even among native English speakers raised in the United States. However, the question is there if Google will be able to understand the second language that a user is speaking to serve them in a better way?
Seriously, Voice Assistants?
Well, it might happen, but the change is yet to come. Also, it may take the next few years for Google and other voice assistants to learn a user’s second language and serve them in a better way. But for now, Google and other voice assistants are slowly undergoing a users accent. Do let us know your thoughts.
If you have any questions to ask then do feel free to leave a comment below and we will surely help you out.
Guest Post by Mridul Kabra
Mridul Kabra is a TEDx speaker and Wikipedia featured Digital Marketer who has been backing several companies for their marketing needs. He is the Digital Marketing Head and Chief Strategist at Quadrigo. As a Digital Marketing Trainer, he has trained at prestigious institutions like IITs and NITs in India. He writes exclusive content for techlipz blog.