Google Voice Translator “FAIL”

Transcribing Other Languages

A while ago, Google acquired a company called Grand Central and renamed its service Google Voice. Similar to gmail, you get a phone number and a voicemail inbox to use as an alternative to your home number.  If there are things that bother you about voice mail, then Google has the solution…almost! At around 18 seconds in they pitch that all voice-mails will be transcribed to text. Sounds great, but what about people who don’t speak English and want to leave voice-messages? No Problem! One of the more unique features is its ability to transcribe incoming voice messages and send them to you via email. But they haven’t nailed it down quite yet. Observe my most recent Voice Mail transcription.

Google Voice Mistake

“Hello thing that I’d get the is it that up about the delivery is scheduled in the good luck with at the demo what they put them on the, but it should take a minute and then and Billy Joel, Jeffrey about the like, 1. Bella lab either. Are you it’s not ok. The new it off. I was down at the same book again. I’m not going to think of them and then I will child. You done or give me that you don’t mind, I Mohammed okay and I’m guessing you’re.”

Want other examples? Check it DennyYunk,, and even some issues with transcribing English.

Fear Not…They’re working on it…I think?

I’m a bit concerned, considering all the hype about Google’s Real-Time Voice Translator. “Google engineers are working on a translator for Google Android smartphones to convert one language into another quickly enough to allow speakers without a common language to communicate with one another in near real time.” (Wired)

Their solution? On the bottom right they have an option that says “Transcript Useful”. When you click on it, it says the following…“Would you like to donate this voicemail to help us improve transcription? Want to help Google’s automated transcription get better? Donated voicemails will be listened to, manually transcribed, and used to improve our transcribing server’s accuracy. They are only used for this purpose.” And as with automatic text translation, what may begin as a fairly primitive technique will, Google hopes, become more sophisticated with the help of millions of users around the world. (DailyMail)

The Long Road Ahead

“It will be some time until we get to use live voice translation — probably in a “few years’ time,” Google’s head of translation services, Franz Och, told The Times. Despite “huge progress recently,” it’s still difficult to recognize various accents, Och explained. (PC World).

I’ve been following them since the days when it was called “Grand Central” and wasn’t owned by Google. My 1st blog (FreeCallReview) was about Free Web Activated VoIP services, I specifically mentioned Grand Central in 2007. That was 3 years ago…and they still have a ways to go.  David Crystal, honorary professor of linguistics at Bangor University, said the problems of dealing with speed of speech and range of accents could prove insurmountable. ‘No system at the moment can handle that properly,’ he added (DailyMail).

PS: Google, if you read this, my goal is simply to see you pay a little more attention to a potential GOLD MINE. Danke!

Posted under Social Networks

“” – If Twitter did Porn!


“Social networking was supposed to be the Net’s next rocket to riches. But many social sites are having trouble capitalizing on their audiences, and it’s looking like the convivial atmosphere that promised to boost the value of commercial messages may actually diminish it.” (Conde Naste)…but I have the solution! I figured it all out: How to make Twitter money?

Defining The Issue

I know this is a rather “racy” topic, but everyones talking about twitter. If you don’t know what Twitter is by now, let me sum up in 140 characters or less: Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users updates known as tweets of up to 140 characters in length. Sound crazy? Let the #’s do the talking:

  • November 2008 : Forrester Research –  Twitter had 4-5 million users
  • February 2009: – Twitter is the 3rd largest social network
  • March 2009: – Twitter is the fastest growing social network (1382%)

Yet at the end of the day, only 1 number really counts: REVENUE! The problem is, “Twitter makes a negligible amount of revenue from users that send and receive messages as SMS texts, and overall loses an undisclosed amount of money.” (Wired)

Solutions in Progress

So, it has been 3 years and Twitter finally serves up some ads…well kind of. On March 16th, as reported by Adrants, “Twitter, has finally incorporated ads on the pages of its website. The rather unobtrusive text ads are cutely marked up as dictionary entries and appear in a sidebar below a user’s stats and above their thumbnail mosaic of followed users”. 7 days later, the Business Insider (Silicon Alley Insider) points out yet another revenue stream. Twitter “will offer promotional space on to ExecTweets, a Web site that aggregates tweets from business executives, organized by ad network Federated Media”. It should look promising, but it still feels like Twitter is avoiding untapped potential. “Twitter — whose user base is exploding — certainly has many potential revenue-generating options at its disposal, including ads, premium accounts, corporate user verification, etc.” (Business Insider)…well, they couldn’t be more right!


My Solution? “”

In May 12th 2007, TechCrunch made a very strong statement:

“Usually the porn industry innovates first and key features make their way to more mainstream sites. But over the last couple of years, many of the new ideas around web applications, like user generated content, video sharing, etc., went mainstream first and are now hitting the porn sites.” (TechCrunch)

For the first time, porn geeks and horny affiliates were in the back seat. Some examples of this included a user-generated porn YouTube clone called, as well as a few others like and 2007 provided a year of innovation for online pornography.

“The Web has been a goldmine for pornographers — 2007 revenue from porn sites in the U.S. alone was more than $13 billion, and almost $100 billion worldwide.” (Morning Sentinal)

Compared to $2.84 billion generated in 2006, that’s almost 500% more than the previous year! So what’s stopping the porn industry from copying Twitter? If it worked for PornoTube, then it will work for “”. In fact, one porn-trepeneur has already started their own version in early 2008:

The problem is, both Gawker and TechCrunch immediately coined it the “Twitter of Porn”, and I feel someone else could do a better job…and I think someone else is! Someone already bought the name If you’re the owner and you’re reading this, “YOU ARE SITTING ON A GOLDMINE!” At first, I thought you may already be on twitter and it so happens there is a “@Twitterotica” username. Not sure if they’re related.

You’re probably asking yourself? Why is Joshua spilling the beans on a billion dollar idea? I really don’t know the answer to that besides saving my family name (Russak) from embarrassment. Though, I don’t think they’d mind once I have enough money to buy an Island in Dubai.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks