Apple’s Siri is a voice assistant which is capable of speaking 21 languages. According to Reuters Siri will soon speak Shanghainese. The Shanghainese language which is a Shanghai dialect also known as Hu language Chinese spoken in the central districts of Shanghai. Shanghainese is also representative language of Taihu Wu.
Siri which is the oldest of all voice assistance currently available by different companies. These include Microsoft’s Cortana which is capable of speaking only 8 languages. Amazon’s Alexa can only speak two languages and lastly Google Assistance which has recently created much hype can only speak four languages.
Siri which is a polyglot and is much ahead of its competitors has already started learning Shanghainese. A recent report published by Reuters explained the process followed by Apple to make Siri learn new languages.
In an interview Alex Acero, head of Apple’s speech team, Siri initially learns a new language from group of humans who read passages in the real accents and dialects. These passages are then transcribed by hand so that the computer has an exact representation of the spoken text to learn from.
Apple then uses its dictation mode to capture sample of audio recording and make them anonymous. Background noise and mumbled words are filtered and transcribed by humans. This is done to reduce the recognition errors. Once this is done a voice actor records the new language. Siri is capable of learning from real world users and is updated every two weeks.
Since many tech companies are working on their own voice assistance. Apple is also trying to lead the race by teaching Siri more languages. Google, Microsoft and Amazon are also working on other languages but it will take them time to meet Siri’s capabilities.