While I could of course post a rant about the ongoing political farce, Caroline, the lady I work with at Charlton Park Academy, has sent me something far, far more interesting. Google has started to develop speech recognition software for people whose disabilities distort their speech. According to the link she sent me ”if you have a speech disorder cause by a neurological impairment like ALS or multiple sclerosis, then using Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa will be off-limits to you. In today’s tech environment, that means missing out on a lot.
”That’s why Google is launching a new initiative to make speech technology more accessible to those with disabilities. It’s called Project Euphonia, and it incorporates a wide array of research directions, alongside collaborations with nonprofits and volunteers.”
Google is asking for volunteers whose speech is distorted to go in so it can model the patterns of their speech. Frankly though, I’m not sure how useful such an approach would be, since speech like mine isn’t that consistent: I might try to verbalise the same word or phrase twice, but it won’t necessarily sound the same. Nonetheless, this is certainly worth keeping my eye on: being able to use things like Siri could make stuff much easier and faster.