Siri Fails Baristas

phone womanA friend of mine recently attempted to get her Apple iPhone’s Siri to understand a common, simple word: barista. No luck. How Siri’s voice recognition translated it: Paris stuff. A friend of hers tried it herself, and Siri failed again: bar restock.

Clearly, Siri hates coffee.

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The star receiver has a cold

girl with feverYou know that old adage “Feed a cold, starve a fever.” Or is it “Feed a fever, starve a cold”?

According to Dragon NaturallySpeaking, it’s neither. What it typed when I said the former: Feet are cold, star receiver.

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Sorry, Dear Auntie

Honest, I was talking about the long-snouted creature that eats ants. Clearly, Dragon NaturallySpeaking didn’t understand: 

What I actually said to my computer: ant eater. 
How my voice software translated it: aunt eater.

I tried once more, and got one more fail: and eat her.

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Happy and Gay

Two recent voice recognition errors that I wish I’d caught before hitting send: 

What I actually said to my computer: dinners and galas 
How my voice software translated it:  dinners and gay laws  

And one more:

What I actually said to my computer: Yay, thanks
How my voice software translated it:  gay, thanks

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Awkward lap feel

Watch out, people – protect your laps!:

What I actually said to my computer: I can film the lap
How my voice software translated it:  I can feel the lap

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Arrest and Torture

Google’s voice-to-text service uses voice recognition technology to listen to callers and translate their spoken words to text.  But it often misunderstands: 

What the caller actually said: Hey, Rick! It’s Richard Zaragosa.
How Google Voice typed it:    Hey, arrest! It’s torture third goes you.

And one Google voice fail:

What the caller actually said: Hey Rick, it’s Peter at the Funky Bazaar, sir.
How Google Voice typed it:    Hey Ricketts Peter but the fund desires her.

.

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Kicking Tarts at the Meta-Café?

Two recent voice recognition errors, just for kicks: 

What I actually said to my computer: he kick-starts
How my voice software translated it:  he kicks tartstart

Those poor tarts!  And what kind of eats would you get here, I wonder:

What I actually said to my computer: Let’s meet them at a restaurant
How my voice software translated it:  Let’s meet the meta-restaurant

Better to meet there than eat there, I suppose.

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To Bow Out of Working Out

Pronounced tuh-BAH-tuh, a Tabata workout is a high intensity exercise routine that … never mind the details; just don’t ask Dragon NaturallySpeaking to spell it right.  weightlifting

What I actually said to my computer: a Tabata workout  
How my voice software translated it: ate about a workout

You’ll never lose weight that way.  So I tried again, but Dragon wasn’t game for this workout, coming up with: to bow to work out

I’d give up and switch to a workout that voice recognition software could handle, like weight lifting … but it would probably call it wait lifting.

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Colonizing Asians?

It’s a tough word, even for humans.  But for my voice recognition software, it was a complete fail:

What I actually said to my computer: canonicalization
How my voice software translated it: canonical is Asian 

I tried once more but the best it could do: cannot colonization

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Cross-dressing Caribbean?

The word Trini is short for Trinidadian or Trinidad.   I should have explained that to Dragon NaturallySpeaking –

What I actually said to my computer: A Trini girl
How my voice software translated it: A tranny girl

Maybe she/he is, but it’s none of my business.

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My apologies to Karen, but…

“Open paren” is what you speak aloud when using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and you wanted to insert an opening paragraph mark:  (  

What I actually said to my computer: open paren at this stage…
How my voice software translated it: open Karen at this stage…

Saying “open paren at this stage” should actually have typed this: (at this stage.

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Karnazes Analysis

Dragon NaturallySpeaking stumbling on names:

What I actually said to my computer: take Dean Karnazes for instance
How my voice software translated it:  Take ginkgo analysis for instance

Not even close.

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Mental Leaps and Angry Coworkers

I was talking about a recipe, but Dragon NaturallySpeaking clearly thought I was speaking esoterically:

What I actually said to my computer: Take mint leaves, and…
How my voice software translated it:  Take mental leaps and…

And one more, showing how dramatically voice software errors can alter your original intent:

What I actually said to my computer: and great coworkersTriplet construction workers frustrated or confused about something.
How my voice software translated it: angry coworkers

If you use Dragon NaturallySpeaking or some other voice recognition software, use the comments below share your humorous or bizarre speech-to-text errors.

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Doctoring my English

Dragon NaturallySpeaking often fails on names. Here’s one from today, regarding a brand name: 

What I actually said to my computer: Altra running shoes
How my voice software translated it:  All tried running shoes

And in the next one, the voice software turned my discussion about enhancing the flavor of a recipe into a discussion about some fictional doctor:

What I actually said to my computer: Doctor mine a bit
How my voice software translated it:  Dr. Mina bit

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Angelita’s iPods–phone voice recognition gone awry

Here are two recent voice recognition errors from my brother that occurred while using his phone’s voice recognition to type his spoken words:

What he actually said to his phone:    I paused the campaigns
What his phone’s voice software typed:  iPods the campaigns

And one more:

What he actually said to his phone: And delete the ones that are paused
What his phone’s voice software typed: Angelita ones that are pods

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Going for a run in my Socrates?

452px-SOCRATESThis voice recognition error suggests that buying this brand of running shoes is a wise decision, I suppose:

What I actually said to my computer: Which model of Saucony’s did you buy?
How my voice software translated it:  Which model of Socrates did you buy?

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Gaseous Sins

A couple of doozies to finish off the week.  I’ve heard of having a bad sense of humor, but…

What I actually said to my computer: To test one’s sense of humor. 
How my voice software translated it:  To test one’s sins of humor.

Sins of humor … puns perhaps? 

And one more: Dragon NaturallySpeaking always struggles with phrases that come from another language, even if it’s a phrase we commonly use in English speaking.  It’s struggled previously with the Spanish phrase for thank you very much – “muchos gracias” – (see Dragon’s earlier blunders of muchas gracias here and here), but this time it was even funnier:

What I actually said to my computer: muchas gracias
How my voice software translated it:  Which is gaseous

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One Crazy Prescription

This next voice recognition error is from the medical world, and came to me from someone who wishes to stay anonymous.  As you may know, voice recognition software is often used by doctors as a way of recording what they did for a patient during doctor appointments, surgery, etc. because, when it works well, Dragon NaturallySpeaking can help them get those words out much faster than they could type, and ridiculously faster than they Doctor with stethoscopecould write.  At least when it correctly understands the doctor’s words…

What the doctor said to the computer:   I recommend probably half the dose of narcotics. 

What Dragon NaturallySpeaking wrote: I recommend parties and half the dose of narcotics.

That would be one unusual prescription.  I personally like the second one better.  Party on, Doc:

.

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Those poor patients simply can’t catch a break!

Just one teensy little letter missing, and boy does the meaning change! 

What I actually said to my computer: Underserved health patients… (as in “poor” – inadequately served).  But how my voice software translated it: Undeserved health patients…

Whether or not the patients deserved treatment, it was an important mistake to catch before sending the article on to the client.  Of course, it could be worse. Microsoft’s spellchecker looked at the word “underserved,” didn’t like it, and suggested “undersexed” instead.

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We’ll assume he was talking about a rooster

Just a warning that this voice recognition error may seem inappropriate. And let me assure you, it would have been very inappropriate had I not caught the voice software’s the error before sending it to the finance department of this new client.rooster

What I actually said to my computer: calculating the gross differently …
How my voice software translated it:  cock eluding the gross differently…

Indeed that would have been a different kind of gross, and the net outcome would have been potentially disastrous had that email gone out as Dragon NaturallySpeaking wrongly interpreted my words.  Smile

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