Google Transcriber? Far from Beta

I have been using Google Voice for about a month now, and I’m really starting to like it. I have yet to use it for academic purposes, but it comes in handy for making long distance calls from work. I have also put a call widget on my family blog, and it’s been fun listening to messages from family and friends from all over the country. I was also excited to learn that Google transcribes the messages into text, in case I want to get the gist of the message before listening to it. This would really come in handy in case I got any messages from angry students. 🙂 One might assume that since Google has knocked just about every other project out of the park, then their transcriptions would be spot on. Well, think again. I have two examples below using messages from my mom and mother-in-law to my two sons (the transcriptions are below the audio widget):

Hi Tina, Kurt being Sam innate sense. This is granny Karen. We love you. Granddad night. Thought about you today. Labor day. We had a fun, Labor Day, so birthday celebration with the and that and for me. I would like to dominos tonight that we miss you all. We hope you had a fun day today. Also, Hi, Okay, I want to tell you bye bye. We’d love to seeing your pictures on the blog spot. Thank you. Bye bye. We love you.

Hey guys, It’s G G. We’re just hoping that you have sometime today to visit with us on skype. I’m fixing to go out grocery shopping. It’s the 920 here 10:20 your time, so I should be. I’ll be back here at noon, so if you have time before your afternoon match ups this afternoon. G. G in. Paul Paul would love to visit with you on the web cam. Bye bye.

I was thinking about using this tool to record some phone interviews for a research project I am starting, but obviously I will have to do some serious proofreading. Still, even if this tool gets 60-70% of the words right, I will have saved myself a bundle of time and effort. Using Google Voice, you can record calls and it will send you a transcription of the conversation. I am going to test it out this week and see how it goes.