Note from the Publisher: Last week, you may recall we published a piece detailing how UK-based Barclays Bank was rolling out a new voice biometrics program. Thus, when we came across the following piece detailing how difficult Scottish accents are for voice recognition programs and how Google is trying to tackle that very problem, it gave us pause to wonder how Barclays will address that issue for its Scottish customers. We’re sure their IT people are FAR smarter than we, and have already considered this, but still.
“‘You ever tried voice recognition technology?’ asks Scottish comedian Iain Connell in a now famous button-free elevator scene mocking a common problem. ‘They don’t do Scottish accents.’
Google, aware of how the rolled ‘r’ and thick tones of Scottish accents baffle voice recognition software, feels his pain. And the company is trying to do something about it. The tech giant is on the hunt for people with a Scottish accent to record a set of phrases to help improve its speech recognition software. An employee from speech technology company Appen—which has been contracted by Google—started the search by posting on Reddit, in hopes of finding Scots who will record their voices in return for £27 ($36). The task, which takes up to three hours, involves participants recording phrases such as ‘Indy now’ or ‘Google, what’s the time?'”