Siri and the need for standard English

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Siri and the need for standard English

Postby Richard » 11 Feb 2016 08:14

There's an article at which argues that people use a more standard English pronunciation when talking to machines like Siri. Do you think that students would use a more careful pronunciation when talking to a machine (e.g. trying harder to use syllable-final 's')? Could be an interesting research topic that would have implications for ELF.
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Re: Siri and the need for standard English

Postby sgtowns » 15 Feb 2016 10:22

On a related note, yesterday I was listening to an audio podcast of an interview with a couple of executives from Apple. One interesting tidbit that they shared was that getting Siri to understand accents is really tricky -- especially when, for example, a Spanish speaking person is asking Siri to play an English song. Siri has to 1) recognize the Spanish words and 2) recognize the English words that were spoken with a Spanish accent (but which probably sound close to some other Spanish word, if the accent is really strong). So for every L1-L2 pair, Siri has to tell the difference between and understand L1, L2, and potentially L1 spoken with an L2 accent.

Anyway... my experience has been that Siri is very bad at understanding Thais speaking English. For any Thais reading this, have you had any success getting Siri or other speech recognition systems to understand you?
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Re: Siri and the need for standard English

Postby Wannapa » 13 May 2016 19:57

I've tried playing different Thai accents with SIRI as Apple claim that they train SIRI to recognise different English accents. Definitely, it doesn't recognise Thai words at all. But for English words, phrases and sentences; it seems to be able to recognise. I found that the most important key for SIRI to get the words was the right position of word stress.
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