17 May 2007

The last thing I want is to be a spokesman

  • May 17, 2007

The last thing I want is to be a spokesman

SpinVox is not paying me anything.



I live in a dead spot in my cell phone network (Verizon)
I also work several times a week underground (in BART)

As a result, I often do not get voicemail notifications for hours, occasionally a day or two after someone leaves me a message.
I do, however, have internet connections at both places.

So I spent some time on Google, and found a service which will email you a transcript of every voicemail you receive.
I signed up for a free trial.
I don't know how much it costs, because it is a British company, and the price list is in pounds sterling.  They are still in "beta" phase in US markets.

I have used computer transcript programs before.  I was unimpressed.  And this is with pre-voice-programming.

This new service needs to be able to work with any voice, any accent, over a telephone connection.

I was skeptical.  But at least I would get notifications of new voicemails, whether or not the transcript was accurate.

I called my self to leave a test message.  It was pretty long, so it cuts off abruptly toward the end.

Not only did it get almost every word right (including my first name, slang and sounds that aren't even real words) but the few wrong words its obvious what I meant - and it got the punctuation spot on too!!  It recognized the intonation that means "question"

Here are the results, which were emailed to me a few minutes later:


You received a new voicemail from +15105315953:
Ah whap baba loombop, ah whap bam boom, tootie fruitie fruitie. Hello. My name is Bakari Kafeeley, & I'm calling about a fictional job that will never happen, cos I am myself. Really, this is a test of how well the SpinVox service can turn my voice into text without me having, you know, programmed my voice for it to recognize words. I mean, this is amazing! It can take anyone with all the various accents & tones of voice there are in the world, & understand what we're saying? And turn it into something that will be understandable? Let's just see. The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRXTUVWXYand Z. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13
,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30. You know, I could use this to just be like talking, actually talking & send myself a freaking voicemail. And when I want to remember something, or want to record what I'm thinking in real time, because I'll forget? I'll send myself a freaking phone call, you automatically what do you call it, what do you call it, transcribe what I'm saying via computer, & send me a freaking email of the text? This is the most amazing thing I've ever hear [first mistake, meant "heard"] of. I don't know, I can't believe I'm getting a free trial. I hope this free trial lasts like a mon ["month"] or like forever, cos this service is gonna have to be expensive & frankly I can't afford it. How ever much it is, there is no way I can afford it, cos this ["is"] amazing & it must cost like a million dollars a mon["th"]. Computers have just reached an ultimate. How freaking long do I get to record? I mean, I know it was long, but I sure hope I don't get any voicemails that are this long. Although Lord knows, I have before. My Mother, & Simate(?)[Senyate, but the question mark indicates that the system is aware it may be wrong] Simate

In the future I promise to keep all corporate type advertising to a minimum on my blog.  I am just so impressed with the technology.

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