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Google Launches ‘Relate’ App For People With Speech Impairment

(Representative image: Reuters)

(Representative image: Reuters)

The algorithms feed on unique speech patterns from millions of individuals, which then helps detect the right phrase or word that is being uttered by the person using the application.

Technology is being redefined and reimagined as we speak. From a point where touch screens were all the craze, we have reached an era where more senses are being incorporated in the interaction with digital devices that we are surrounded with. However, technology can only be delved into our lives better if it is made available to each and every one of us.

In an attempt to make technology accessible for everyone, Google has taken the initiative and developed an Android application called Project Relate. This application is solely made for people with speech impairments.

Voice-assisted devices are one of the latest fashions in the world of zeroes and ones. However, never before were devices that could understand people with atypical speech was developed until now.

The Relate app will now be able to eradicate the invisible communication barrier that arises due to impairments of speech. In the launch video shared by Google on November 10, Julie Cattiau, Google’s Product Manager, said, “In 2018, we realized that our speech-recognition technology could be improved to assist people with speech impairment. However, due to the hindered training of algorithms based on speech samples, people with atypical speech patterns cannot get their way around these devices.”

The algorithms feed on unique speech patterns from millions of individuals, which then helps detect the right phrase or word that is being uttered by the person using the application.

The Relate app works in three levels: Listen, Repeat, and Assistant. The first level hears your impaired voice and translates it into digital text. The second level converts the digital text into a clear, computerized voice, and the third level is a feature that allows you to connect the Relate app to the Google Assistant on your phone.

The application will provide people with speech disabilities the basic human right and allow them to communicate and connect with people more efficiently. The app was given the name “Relate” by Aubrie Lee, Brand Manager at Google, who herself suffers from muscular dystrophy that significantly impairs her speech.

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first published:November 12, 2021, 12:04 IST