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Being able to speak and be understood can be a challenge for millions of people. Voice-enabled technology is becoming more widespread, but speech recognition algorithms don't always work well for people with atypical speech.
Project Relate, built by Google, is an early access Android app that uses machine learning to help individuals with non-standard speech communicate more easily in face-to-face conversations. Users record 500 phrases to train the app to understand their speech, and then receive a personalized model to interact with the app's three features: Listen, Repeat and Assistant. With Listen, users can transcribe speech to text. With Repeat, users can repeat what they've said in a computerized voice. With Assistant, users can interact with Google Assistant from within the app, to ask a question or take care of a task, like setting a timer, playing a song or asking for directions.
Project Relate is a continuation of years of research from both Google's Speech and Research teams, made possible by over a million speech samples recorded by over a thousand individuals. We have shared the app with more than a thousand people now, who have used it for communicating with loved ones, completing transactions at stores, and using Google Assistant. By personalizing speech recognition to the individual, Project Relate seeks to improve everyday life for people with non-standard speech.
“Project Relate can make the difference between a look of confusion and a friendly laugh of recognition.”
- Aubrie Lee, Brand Manager at Google whose speech is affected by Muscular Dystrophy