Google’s software to improve communication for those who have difficulty speaking

Google Project Relate is used to assist people with difficulties in speaking and communicating. (photo: Liukin)

Technology has gone from being a tool in industries to becoming the first-hand solution in many important situations. Thanks to it, you can perform necessary tasks of daily life, such as talking, one of the main ways to communicate with others.

Unfortunately, there are people who for health reasons find it difficult to maintain a minimum level of communication with others. For these cases, Google wants to take a step forward, the company introduced Project Relate software, which helps people who need machines to communicate in the field.

What is Google Project Relate

Project Relate is a Google project that, using artificial intelligence and machine learning, aims to create an application capable of helping people with difficulties in speaking and communicating.

Google’s job is to develop an algorithm that can learn to detect communication patterns in these people.

The 3 functions of Project Relate

Project Relate is in beta, but even so, it already aims to be a very interesting application. Google is currently testing the app with English speakers in Australia, Canada, the United States, and New Zealand, and through them, it will help better understand users’ voices and communication modes.

Without going into technicalities, the app aims to assist with three main functions: Listen, Repeat and Assistant.

Listen function in Project Relate: the first function may “Listen” to what the user says, process it and transcribe it on the screen in real time, so that the user can decide if they need to copy and paste another application or simply leave it on the screen to show it to someone else.

Replay function in Project Relate: This feature can be very useful for many people, as it allows them to have a person-to-person conversation, acting as an intermediary. With “Repeat”, the application will process what the user tries to say and will say it using the voice of the Google virtual assistant.

Assistant function in Project Relate: finally, the assistant aims to prepare the Google Assistant for recognize vocal patterns and easily interact with people who have difficulty communicating, being able to consult information and plan activities as with anyone else.

Google Project Relate logo.  (photo: FOLOU)
Google Project Relate logo. (photo: FOLOU)

Years of research

Project Relate is nothing more than software capable of making it easier for those who cannot speak, thanks to a platform developed after years of research and for which Google acknowledges having collected more than “a million voice samples” recorded to find a natural way to communicate.

Stephen Hawking suffered from ALS.  (photo: Vanitatis)
Stephen Hawking suffered from ALS. (photo: Vanitatis)

This project is still in the data collection phase and volunteers can sign up to further research a sentence pattern. With this material, Project Relate could achieve a more natural way of expressing yourself, minimizing the artificial tone and creating a closer link between the speaker, through the software, and the receiver.

According to Google, Project Relate is focused on those who have suffered or are suffering from “ALS, cerebral palsy, head injury, Parkinson’s disease or stroke.”


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