Pixel 4's real-time transcription is tested against the world's fastest-talking woman



The Google Pixel 4 not only has a new interface for Google Assistant, but it also is able to handle questions and tasks for the digital helper on-device. That makes Assistant on the Pixel 4 faster to respond. Also handling things on-device is a very useful and new Google app called Recorder. Not only does it record audio, but it will also transcribe audio in real-time. And it does all this without using an internet connection. Yes, the Recorder app will record audio and take real-time transcription even without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection.

To check the accuracy of the AI-driven real-time transcription feature found in the Recorder app, the Wall Street Journal tested it against a courtroom stenographer named Anita Trombetta, who can type 260 words per minute on her stenographer machine. Recorder was also pitted against Fran Capo, who is one of the fastest talkers in the world, and four random people with different accents. Those going up against the Recorder app read the famous "To be or not to be" soliloquy from Hamlet, an article from the Wall Street Journal and a part of Google's privacy policy.

The results? Recorder held its own against the courtroom stenographer. However, it didn't do too well when Ms. Capo, who is listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest talking female (11 words per second) recited a rendition of The Three Little Pigs as a warmup. When Capo read from the prepared material, Google's transcription technology was better with a few missed words (but the stenographer also missed a few words, noted the video). Lastly, the real-time transcription feature on the Recorder app went up against four random people from New Zealand, Ireland, Jamaica and Germany.

The Journal's Joanna Stern, who conducted the test, said that the transcription feature was "damn impressive." For those with an iOS or Android device other than the Pixel 4, Stern points out that Otter, available in the App Store and Google Play Store, does the same thing although not as well as Google's app.

Imagine how useful this could be for taking notes at school or at work. The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL go on sale tomorrow starting at $799.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh
Pixel 4 XL
  • Display 6.3" 1440 x 3040 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 3700 mAh

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4 Comments

1. BCMWorld

Posts: 60; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

Wow simple wow

2. androiduser

Posts: 513; Member since: Jun 18, 2014

it only transcripts english at the moment, I don't know if it will support gibberish in the future.

3. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

That wsa pretty good. I wsa dying during the 3 little pigs tory and the recorder app was just throwing up random words hahaha Still very impressive. i couldn't keep up with her fast talking

4. tgom222

Posts: 35; Member since: Jul 08, 2012

So basically it translate people who can actually speak. That fast talking lady was actually speaking. That was garbage. Just sounds coming out of her mouth. Was that Irish guy trying to mutter? The other people were at least trying to speak correctly. Even the German guy was clearer.

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