Google Seeks Help From People With Down Syndrome
From #Siri to #Alexa , #voiceassistants are everywhere, but the #technology tends to miss every third word that people with Down syndrome say. Now a new effort is underway to change that.
Google is partnering with the #Canadian Down Syndrome Society to collect #voice samples from adults with Down syndrome in order to program its algorithm to better decipher the unique #speech patterns of this population.
Speech is often altered in those with Down syndrome due to variances in the facial skeletal and #muscular systems, according to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. However, in a small pilot, Google and the nonprofit group found that there were enough similarities across those with the #chromosomal disorder to train the voice assistant technology.Participants in the Google effort known as Project Understood are asked to record themselves speaking 1,700 simple phrases like “strawberry jam is sweet.” The company will then use the data to improve its speech recognition models.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society is hoping to solicit at least 500 voices. Given the increasing role of technology in everyday life, the Down syndrome group said the impact is likely to be significant.