Google has just announced the acquisition of Phonetic Arts – a company based in the UK that works on speech synthesis for games and will use their services to make their voice recognition and voice transcription services sound more human. Although Google has done quite a lot in the field of voice recognition and voice transcription, you still know you're talking to a machine when you use one of their services. Phonetic Arts owns technology that makes speech banks out of recorded dialogue and this technology can help eliminate the robot voice making communication between you and a machine sound a lot more personal.
The way this software works is that you input a bunch of lines into the software which then breaks the sentences up into single words. This allows for formation of completely new sentences that sound very realistic. Until now, this technology has been used primarily in creating voices for games, but now its use will be further explored and hopefully brought into the realm of voice recognition and voice transcription.
Google has already dabbled in voice technology and sucessfully implemeted quite a bit into the Android platform – Voice Search, Voice Input and Voice Actions. In its official blog post, Google specifically talks about the growing tech scene in London: “There’s a particular focus right now in the U.K. on technology and innovation, and we’re delighted to be deepening our investment in the country with this acquisition. We already have a strong engineering center in London and look forward to welcoming Phonetic Arts to the team. We are excited about their technology, and while we don’t have plans to share yet, we’re confident that together we’ll move a little faster towards that Star Trek future.”