Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You don't want to know what happens when they search for cigarettes

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said that the U.S. and Britain were two countries "separated by a common language." Well, it looks like he was right:
British iPhone users said a Google voice recognition program developed for the smart phone in the United States does not understand their accents.

The free program, which was designed to translate voice commands into Google searches, was perplexed when users with accents from across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales attempted a simple search for "iPhone," The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said a man with a Scottish accent was given Google results for "sex" when he first spoke the word "iPhone" while running the program and received results for "sledding" during his second attempt.
I've met people from Scotland (okay, not really, but I've seen Trainspotting several times) and while they can be somewhat difficult to understand sometimes, I'm pretty sure I could distinguish between a Scot saying "iPhone" and "sex." At least I hope so. If not, that could lead to some really awful misunderstandings.

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