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If You Talk to Me, Do I Not Talk Back? Google Acquire Phonetic Arts

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No, it's not a Shakespearian app. It's Google's latest business development.  Straight from the mouth of the company that put voice search on your smart phone, Google announced today they want your computers to talk to you. Or rather, Google-powered devices, more to the point. The Official Google Blog just announced Google's acquisition of England's Phonetic Arts, a company specializing in speech algorithms, founded four years ago.

Google thinks talking to a computer and having it talk back to you is more natural. And why not. I'm sure nobody will be creeped out when your computer or device talks back to you, right?  If you think this sounds like something out of Star Trek, you're not far off. Google started off their announcement referencing how the computers in Star Trek talked back to those speaking  instructions to it.

I, myself, am not a Trekkie.  But I think this is cool on all sorts of levels. Clearly this is the next step to ubiquitous computing. Very often, I use my phone when driving (shhh!).  I typically dictate SMS messages to it or use it to send quick reply emails, since my Droid is so good at interpreting what I say.  If I could get it to read my emails back to me, without having to look at the screen, why not? I've been looking for a (good) app for that anyway.

Google says they won't be sharing their newly acquired technology just yet, but will help the world come together to "move a little faster towards that Star Trek future." Is this good or bad? 


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