Friday, October 12, 2007
A few years ago, my younger brother won a car in a raffle. He wanted to share this good news with the entire family, so he decided to keep it a secret until we were all together at dinnertime. But good news is hard to keep; he couldn't wait, and by lunchtime we all knew about our new car. And now we have some exciting news of our own that we just can't contain any longer.
Many of you explored Google Labs and discovered a local business info service that's totally free. It's called GOOG-411 and it helps callers find and connect with local businesses just by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411. It's a voice-based local search service, which means it uses speech-recognition algorithms to recognize what a caller is saying and then finds the local business information he or she is looking for. These algorithms had to be trained with real utterances, much like how a baby learns language by listening to its parents. Since its unveiling in April, GOOG-411 has successfully served millions of callers. And we owe a big thanks to everyone who took our speech recognition algorithms from infancy to adulthood!
People have been spreading the word about GOOG-411 to their friends and families. And now we're happy to report that our local business info service has officially graduated from Labs. To mark the occasion, we're celebrating with a brand new website that includes this fun video:
When you watch the video, pay extra attention to the people you meet at the end. One of them is the real voice behind GOOG-411. Think you can guess who it is? When you call 1-800-GOOG-411, listen closely and see if you can identify which team member shown in the video is the voice. Then, post your answer as a comment on our YouTube page.