Feeds

Google shuts down GOOG-411 voice data honeypot

It took your phonemes. And now it can die

High performance access to file storage

Google is pulling the plug on 1-800-GOOG-411, the free voice-powered directory assistance service that began connecting callers to local businesses in 2007. According to a Google blog post, the service will be shutdown on November 12.

After it launched in the US and Canada, the service was heavily advertised – Google even put up billboards along the winding rural roads of upstate New York – but it was never intended as a longterm business. As Google poster child Marissa Mayer once explained, the service was simply a means of training its speech-to-text engine as the company prepared to launch voice applications on mobile phones and beyond.

"The reason we really did it is because we need to build a great speech-to-text model … that we can use for all kinds of different things, including video search," she said.

"The speech recognition experts that we have say: If you want us to build a really robust speech model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken by a particular voice with a particular intonation. So we need a lot of people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off of that. … So 1-800-GOOG-411 is about that: Getting a bunch of different speech samples so that when you call up or we’re trying to get the voice out of video, we can do it with high accuracy."

As Google says in its blog post, the service "laid the foundation for more ambitious services." And now that these services are up and running – including tools that let you use speech to search, input text, and control actions on phones – GOOG-411 is no longer necessary. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.