Google Explains Censoring Of Nexus One Voice-to-Text

Posted: Jan 25 2010, 11:20am CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 7:02pm CDT, in News | Mobile Phones


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In a case of ridiculously self-indulgent wordplay, Reuters claims to have discovered a "major limitation" of the Nexus One. The issue? It censors obscenities uttered in voice-to-text mode.

Of course, this is something every single Nexus One owner realized within about an hour of turning on their new smartphone. I spent about forty glorious minutes swearing like a sailor into mine, trying to figure out which words were banned and which ones were deemed 'okay' by Google.

In case you're curious, "balls" is not censored, and neither is "crap-spackle". The word "butt", however, is apparently a little too racy.

So why the "censorship"? Google responded to a Reuters enquiry;

“We filter potentially offensive or inappropriate results because we want to avoid situations whereby we might misrecognize a spoken query and return profanity when, in fact, the user said something completely innocent,”

In essence, Google doesn't want you to accidentally curse out your mother or boss because of an error in their text-to-speech software. That's...actually a perfectly reasonable explanation. It would be nice if we could turn the censorship mode off, though.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at




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