For millions of people around the world whose speech may be difficult for others to understand, communication can sometimes be very challenging. Using voice-activated technologies e.g. Siri, Google Home and Alexa, can also be frustrating if they misidentify your words. Project Euphonia is a Google Research initiative that is aiming to help support people with speech difficulties to be better understood.
Currently speech recognition technology has been based on millions of words and phrases spoken by people who have no difficulties with their speech. This project hopes to also add speech recordings from people with impaired speech, so that speech recognition technology can be trained to recognise all forms of speech.
Please note: This is a research project and the phrases recorded are helping to develop future technology. Any phrases you record may not be useful for you to use to synthesise your own speech, but participants can request a copy of all the data they record.
Am I eligible to take part in the Project Euphonia research initiative?
In order to participate in this research initiative, you need to:
- Have access to a mobile device (Android or iOS) or a computer with a microphone.
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Speak and read English fluently.
- Have difficulties being understood by others (not only because of an accent).
What will I do as a participant?
You'll record yourself reading phrases aloud, using a provided online recording tool. These phrases help the researchers to study ways in which speech recognition technology can be improved to better understand atypical speech. You’ll be sent two sets of phrases:
- A primer phrase set of ~300 phrases. These can be used in our research, to troubleshoot recording issues, and to help us determine what phrases you should record next.
- A full set of phrases contains ~1,500 phrases. This phrase set usually takes around 4-7 hours to record… and you are encouraged to take your time recording!
What will I get in exchange for participating?
Participation in our research initiative is voluntary but as these recordings take time and energy, Google will provide gift cards as a thank you for participating. After recording 300 phrases, participants will receive a $60 gift card. If they record all 1500 phrases of the full set, they will receive a $300 USD (or local currency equivalent) gift card.
When will I have access to technology that can better understand my voice?
We understand that current speech recognition technology can be frustrating. Project Euphonia is in the early stages of a potentially long research arc. We hope our research leads to product improvements as soon as possible, but realistically this may still be a few years away. The voice samples you share will accelerate research into helping people with impaired speech be better understood.
To find out more, or to request to be involved with the project, please click HERE.
To learn more about the aims of the project and to see it in action, you can view this video recording by Tim Shaw, a former NFL player who has been living with ALS since his diagnosis in 2014. Tim has been involved with Project Euphonia and the video demonstrates a prototype being used for speech recognition: https://sites.research.google/euphonia/getting-involved/