Google's Siri competitor may be called Majel

Google's Siri competitor may be called Majel
It has been widely expected that Google would be releasing an update to its Voice Search which will bring features like natural language recognition in an effort to match Siri, and now Google's personal assistant has a name, well a codename at least. Apparently, the codename is Majel. which is an homage to Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, who was wife of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, but more importantly, Majel was the voice of the computer in Star Trek.

As many Android users already know, Google has been collecting voice samples for a long time through its Voice Search app and dictation, and through that Google has learned quite a lot about how users ask for information, which is the key to creating "natural language" recognition. Word has it that the mysterious Google X team has been working on Majel and may release an early version of the update by the beginning of 2012, but that would only bring the natural language update to Google searches. The full update with voice commands would likely become available later next year.

Of course, once the base release is done, it's very likely that 3rd party voice command apps on Android could take advantage of the new features before Google puts out the full release, because most of those apps are built on Google's voice recognition engine. Also, the codename does support something that Matias Duarte had said which was that Google doesn't aim to add personality to the voice system, but rather have everything be voice-enabled. So, it's far more likely if your Android talks to you, it will be called "Android" not Majel.

source: Android and Me

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44 Comments

1. JeffdaBeat unregistered

I figured some new like this would pop up. Honestly, I can't really say Google is working off the popularity of Siri because this "personal assistant" is really the next step for smart phones. As people are using their smartphones for more and more jobs, input using the finger is sometimes out of the question. Vocal commands will be what we naturally go to, especially when driving. I think Google will do a great job with a voice assistant since search is their thing. And in the mean time, competition will make Siri even better. Win/Win.

3. Skyrim

Posts: 36; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Why did you get voted down? That sounded reasonable to me and i agree

6. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Some people don't like reason. Trust me on that.

9. Dmann

Posts: 165; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Yep. I realized that extremist opinions like "Apple sux" or "Android is the beeeest" get the most upvotes. I think people think reasonable posts are too long to read.

29. lukasound

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

i wouldn't thumb this down, but i don't agree... voice control can be useful and sometimes fun, but it can hardly replace or change the way we use smartphones... - noisy environment (it's hard to find quiet places today) - privacy (you don't see people walking down the street talking trough speakerphone, do you?) - voice recognition will probably never be as accurate as the keyboard, so it will never be as fast - "Siri, will i need an umbrella tomorrow?" will never be as practical as taking a look at your homescreen widget So, it's good that Google is going at it from a different angle... I think that voice comands would be much more useful on home appliances than smartphones.

14. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

completely agree. the code name doesnt surprise me one bit. I would never have known rodenberry's wife's name, but knowing she is the computer voice for the ship its right up googles alley to make the reference. its a nice nod. at least its not named hal5000. :)

30. Eingild

Posts: 203; Member since: Apr 19, 2011

Best post I've read in the internet.

2. brenner182

Posts: 29; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

^ i agree. Everythign is going to swithc to voice here in the next two years.

4. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

This will be released as seeing as most android users have sense they will see the fun in it and the not use it much as the novelty will wear off after not too long,unlike all those teenage ifans who still find it funny to ask siri on a daily basis how big a part of their anatomy is 5 times a day.

16. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

i use my voice commands all the time. i could care less about the siri sarchasm, but more functionality is always appreciated.

5. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

just waiting for someone to mention that google is ''copying'' apple lol

7. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

All of those guys are too busy shouting about that dynamic icons article. if you're looking for a fight, that's the comment thread to be in

22. biophone

Posts: 1994; Member since: Jun 15, 2011

Alright you got me. Sorry

26. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

trust me i hate the fanboys/girls as much as i can...less of them the better...i just thought the title of this article would most definitely feed the trolls lol.

28. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

I think it's great that Michael participates in the commentary whether I agree with him or not sometimes. Much better than those that just drop a pile of crap in front of you and walk away.

11. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

And Here goes your hate comment #8 just got back from school

8. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

But of course google is not copying the iphone :) Siri is the obvious next step after they ridiculed it :) Just like touchscreen phones were the obvious next big thing after they ridiculed the iphone when it first came out :) And again, just like tablets are the obvious next big thing after they ridiculed the ipad :) But of course, no one is copying Apple's releases :)

12. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

No one is copying apple releases :) glad to see you agree

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

danger.. danger will robinson.. danger.. troll alert.. trolls on the rise.. danger.. danger!

18. ElectroManiac

Posts: 47; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

You are making it sound like Siri was the first voice assistance ever made on a phone. When in reality voice assistance exist on phones before Siri. Siri is more better done though, but is not the first. So you could say that Apple copies to.

19. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

Evolution is one thing. Copying is another. But what's worst is, copying someone's evolutions and riding on to someone else's successful efforts :) From the ipod, to the iphone, to the ipad, and now to siri. Apple managed to think differently, gave a fresh meaning to existing technologies that no one thought of, took the risk of putting it out there, and made it successful. And then comes google/android taking advantage of Apple's big hits :) How.....convenient :) And then comes fandroids blurting one cliches, "that tech has been out there for years". Yes, but who took it to the next level and made it a BIG & RELEVANT hit? APPLE, NOT google :)

20. ElectroManiac

Posts: 47; Member since: Sep 29, 2011

Have you already tried this new Voice assistance from Google? How do you know it wont be an evolution? Stop trying to spin your rhetoric logic.

33. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

"How do you know it wont be an evolution?" Because it comes from Google. After Google loses in the bid for Nortel's patents, it commited to buy Motorola and subsequenly gives acess to a patent to HTC so HTC could sue Apple. That's Google for you.

38. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

@electromaniac. You're not getting it. NO ONE made a big deal of google's voice assistance crap. Why? Because there was nothing special about it. There are tons of comparison videos on YouTube that shows how google voice misses and Siri hits on accuracy. Stop playing dumb :)

23. robinrisk unregistered

ohhh come on!!! Google was working on this way before the iPhone 4s. If it gave it a name, given the fact that people like it, it just means that Google is stepping up its Marketing. And honestly, marketing is arguably what google did not do correctly. AAAND i love how google is that geeky!

25. thebikerboi2

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

ha and where did you see this, back up your argument pal.

39. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

@robinrisk. No one cares if google has been working on voice apps since the ice age. It's what gets released and what works that matters :) And Siri is brilliant. The only thing that google is stepping up is in ripping off Apple's successes :)

27. taz89

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 03, 2011

who says google is going to copy siri..just as siri is an evolution of voice command etc magel hopefully is an evolution of their own voice command...google have been collecting voice samples for many years so i wouldnt be surprised if their next iteration is way superior...at the moment siri is limited to a few apps...googles voice command can use 3rd party apps already and once they add natural language to it,it will be superior hopefully/

40. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

@taz. The same old argument from fandroids. "Google has been working on it for a long time.". Then why haven't they released their Siri-like voice app before Siri? Why wait until Apple releases it first? Lol. Google/android is a rip off of Apple's successful products :) They wait for Apple evolutions first, before they release their own. Again, how.......convenient :)

24. thebikerboi2

Posts: 144; Member since: Apr 01, 2011

there is a big distance between a voice assistant and a voice assistant AI.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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