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Google 411 is listening…

Alex Christie

18 December 2007

Google’s revolutionary 411 service that they have been running in the USA seems to be more than it appears. The service was implemented earlier this year (April) and is a free phone operated directory inquiries, like the yellow pages but your connection phone call is free. It is not known how many people use the service but if its free I am guessing quite a few.

Google’s Marissa Meyer (VP) has recently purported that the voice service might be doing a bit more than meets the eye. Google seems to be using all the voice data to compile a massive database for phonemes and word pronunciations for use in future voice recognition projects. Marissa Meyer is quoted saying "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.
"

Yet another example of the ingenious methods that Google employs to make the most of their free services…

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