Week-in-Review: Alexa’s indefinite memory and NASA’s otherworldly plans for GPS

Hello, weekenders. This is Week-in-Review, where I give a heavy amount of analysis and/or rambling thoughts on one story while scouring the rest of the hundreds of stories that emerged on TechCrunch this week to surface my favorites for your reading pleasure. Last week, I talked about the cult of Ive and the degradation of […]

Apple’s Voice Control improves accessibility OS-wide on all its devices

Apple is known for fluid, intuitive user interfaces, but none of that matters if you can’t click, tap, or drag because you don’t have a finger to do so with. For users with disabilities the company is doubling down on voice-based accessibility with the powerful new Voice Control feature on Macs and iOS (and iPadOS) […]

Alexa, does the Echo Dot Kids protect children’s privacy?

A coalition of child protection and privacy groups has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate a kid-focused edition of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker. The complaint against Amazon Echo Dot Kids, which has been lodged with the FTC by groups including the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, the Center […]

Live transcription and captioning in Android are a boon to the hearing-impaired

A set of new features for Android could alleviate some of the difficulties of living with hearing impairment and other conditions. Live transcription, captioning and relay use speech recognition and synthesis to make content on your phone more accessible — in real time. Announced today at Google’s I/O event in a surprisingly long segment on […]

Google’s new voice recognition system works instantly and offline (if you have a Pixel)

Voice recognition is a standard part of the smartphone package these days, and a corresponding part is the delay while you wait for Siri, Alexa or Google to return your query, either correctly interpreted or horribly mangled. Google’s latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating that delay altogether — though of course mangling is still […]

Say ‘Aloha’: A closer look at Facebook’s voice ambitions

Facebook has been a bit slow to adopt the voice computing revolution. It has no voice assistant, its smart speaker is still in development, and some apps like Instagram aren’t fully equipped for audio communication. But much of that is set to change judging by experiments discovered in Facebook’s code, plus new patent filings. Developing […]

Speech recognition triggers fun AR stickers in Panda’s video app

Panda has built the next silly social feature Snapchat and Instagram will want to steal. Today the startup launches its video messaging app that fills the screen with augmented reality effects based on the words you speak. Say “Want to get pizza?” and a 3D pizza slice hovers by your mouth. Say “I wear my […]

ELSA raises $3.2M for its A.I.-powered English pronunciation assistant

ELSA, an app whose name stands for “English Language Speech Assistant” (and not the popular Disney character!), has raised $3.2 million for its A.I.-assisted language learning platform that teaches people how to speak English. Unlike other courses that focus mainly on teaching grammar and vocabulary, ELSA uses artificial intelligence and speech recognition technology to help […]