Robots say the craziest things

This morning, while hurrying down the concourse at La Guardia Airport, I tried to dictate a text message to my Nexus 4 while wheeling my suitcase behind me. It got the dictation fine, but appended "kdkdkdkdkdkdkdkd" to the message -- this being its interpretation of the sound of my suitcase wheels on the tiles.

35 Responses to “Robots say the craziest things”

  1. Omar Kooheji says:

    I get the same then I’m driving on a bumpy road and it’s on my hands free mount. 

  2. carlogesualdodivenosa says:

    If it had only been “dkdkdkdkdkdkdkdk”, it could have been me at school forty years ago imitating a machine gun.

  3. niktemadur says:

    Better title:  “Robots say the darnedest things”.

  4. This may be the key to how Finnegans Wake was written.

  5.  is there a word for dysfunctional *and* adorable.

    im impressed by the voice recognition on the android, though, living in Dublin it gives up very quickly when confronted with Irish place names. But then again Irish humans still haven’t totally agreed how to pronounce some of those so its doing well.

  6. Snig says:

    Mine translates it as “pocketa, pocketa, pocketa…”

  7. Lyle Hopwood says:

    This gave me the I’m Living In The Future feeling. Not because Cory was talking to a robot as he walked – I grew up on Science Fiction and always assumed that this would happen eventually (and where’s my flying car, dammit?) The futuristic part is that his suitcase has wheels. When I was little, they didn’t, and if you couldn’t carry your own with your hands you had to hire a man (a porter) to carry it for you. It seems so obvious that they should have wheels that’ it’s hard to remember it had to be invented. (Terry Pratchett’s The Luggage reference goes here.)

  8. euansmith says:

    Stupid robot! Couldn’t it spell onomatopoeia? 

  9. Crashproof says:

    When I was a young nerd, I built a speech synthesizer interface for a Commodore 64.  The interface part didn’t work in time for the school science fair, but with DIP switches you could still trigger it.  In addition to phonemes, it had everything needed for a talking clock… but there was a glitch.  It would often say “elevennnnnn-nnnnnn-nnnnnnn-nnnnnnnnnnEIGHT OH.”

    I wish I still had it, now that I’m into glitch music.

  10. Irina says:

    Wasn’t it Terry Pratchett who once had a page full of “rrr rrrr rrr” because his cat had been asleep on the microphone, purring?

  11. sigismund says:

    ….just an excuse for you to point out you managed to get a Nexus 4… ;) 

  12. Then play it back text to speech, and you’ll be having a conversation with you rollaway.

  13. Ryan Lenethen says:

    When the android was reached for comment it added that “…the “i” and “c” letters were not functioning…”

  14. chgoliz says:

    Actually, I think your Nexus did a better job of representing the sound using English letters than most humans would be able to do.

    Now that I’ve seen it spelled out….that’s exactly what wheeled suitcases sound like.

    Good show, little Nexus!  I’d say bravo/a, but I’m not sure which is appropriate.

  15. bkad says:

    Android’s speech recognition and dictation features are ‘barely functional’ on my phone, an HTC Thunderbolt. I don’t know whether the problem is my phone or that I am doing something wrong — since I don’t have much luck when I borrow friends’ iphones either, maybe it is just that I have unrealistically high expectations. Boing boing readers, have you found speech recognition quality varies between phones, or are all phones pretty much the same (having similar software)?

    My native accent is the “General American” newscaster English that people from other regions pay big bucks to emulate, so I don’t think the way I speak is the problem.

    • Jerril says:

       There’s accent, and then there’s manner of speech. It’s possible you just manage to confuse the crap out of them. My mother has the same problem – robots find her incomprehensible.

  16. Vincent Vanhoucke says:

    Bug filed :)

  17. gwilliker says:

    Great, now I’m craving mac & cheese….

  18. fredh says:

    Clearly, he broke into lobster language.

  19. There’s a Three Stooges episode where Larry is using a geiger counter and it goes caclikcaclikcaclik.  Moes asks Larry, “What does the geiger counter say?”.  Larry replies, “caclikcaclikcaclik”.

  20. Gerald Mander says:

    It’s Philip K. Dick’s world. We’re just living in it.

  21. kmoser says:

    “Sharon Connor?”

  22. NicoleLeeWhite says:

    I have used voice dictation on my Android phone once.   It interpreted “gmail” as “shemale”.  I gave up after that.

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