A new voice-recognition search tool for the iPhone has problems understanding British accents, leading to some bizarre answers to spoken queries, a newspaper report and users said Wednesday.
The free Google Mobile application, which allows iPhone owners to use the Google search engine with their voice, mistook the word “iPhone” variously for “sex,” “Einstein” and “kitchen sink,” said the Daily Telegraph. Comments left by users on the application’s website seemed to confirm the problem. “Awesome job google. only problem is every time I say the word ‘fish’ it registers as ‘sex’,” wrote one, identified as Kevin.
A video demonstration of the Google Mobile App on the online giant’s website shows an American engineer successfully asking for pictures of the Golden Gate as well as cinema timetables and temperature conversions. The website also includes a link to a video showing people with Irish, British and Chinese accents asking for relatively complicated searches, with apparent success. But British iPhone owners had less luck when speaking the word “iPhone” into the application — a Scottish user was offered a porn website after it mistook his search for “sex,” the Telegraph reported.