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You can shut the hell up, please

by Pstonie (24 March 2004)

Yahoo News :
OSLO, Norway - Web surfers may be able to talk to their computers one day using a browser announced Tuesday by Opera Software. The new browser incorporates IBM's ViaVoice technology, enabling the computer to ask what the user wants and "listen" to the request. "Hi. I am your browser. What can I do for you?" asked a laptop with the demonstration versions of the browser.

Opera.com :
Today at AVIOS, SpeechTEK 2004, Opera Software announced the upcoming release of a multimodal desktop browser that incorporates IBM's Embedded ViaVoice speech technology. By leveraging IBM's voice libraries in this version of Opera, users can navigate, request information and even fill in Web forms using speech and other forms of input in the same interaction.

As much as I hate sounding like the 'slowass Firefox-using sceptic' here, this idea sucks. It has been in the news lately about how Star Trek technology is present in modern-day use. I'll admit that the modern PDA looks a lot better than what they were using on the Enterprise D, but the rest is just pushing it.

The new innovation rather reminds me of that terribly annoying computer on the Heart of Gold that was featured in The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You can only imagine what this will by like, coupled with the consistent errors that voice recognition software still contain in these modern times.

BROWSER: Hi. I am your browser. What can I do for you?
FOOLISH HUMAN: Go. To. www. Dot. CNN. Dot. Com.
BROWSER: Certainly. Loading.
BROWSER: You are using the evaluation version of Opera. Please speak to register.
HUMAN: ...
BROWSER: Predictive speech input activated. Registering.
HUMAN: No! I don't want to register.
BROWSER: Using magic wand to complete credit card details.
HUMAN: No, stop that!
BROWSER: Advertisement: Sad? Lonely? Miserable? Talking to your computer? Visit MSN personals to find your mate and download smileys.
HUMAN: Damnit, close popup, cancel registration. Go to my bloody home page.
BROWSER: The universe is a spheroid region, 705 metres in diameter.
HUMAN: What?
BROWSER: Hi. I am your registered browser. What can I do for you?
HUMAN: *sigh* Go to MSN personals.

Yeah. Also, let's not forget that speech output is linear in nature and that one of the things that makes text useful is the fact that you can read anything that catches your eye. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, guys. How about some RSS support?