One of the coolest things about Google Voice (in theory) is its ability to automatically transcribe your voicemail messages so you can read them when you don’t have time to listen.

In practice, the transcriptions can sometimes be so awful that it’s hard to get even a vague idea of what the message is about.

Now Google says that’s changing. The company says it has reduced transcription errors by 49 percent.

google voice
An older Google Voice transcript

How? Google asked users to share some of their voicemails so the company could better analyze them and then the company implemented neural network so the system could basically “learn” to transcribe text more accurately.

This is good news for folks that rely on Google Voice for a few reasons. First, it means you may be able to better make sense of your transcribed messages. Second, it means that Google is continuing to work on Google Voice.

Some folks had been wondering if the company would eventually kill off the service which is updated rather infrequently these days.

It’s still possible Google could kill the project one day. The company has  habit of killing services that not enough people are using, even if the people that do rely on them are die-hard users.

But Google Voice technology is built into the company’s new Project Fi wireless service, and the fact that Google is working to improve the qaulity of transcriptions for both Project Fi and Google Voice users suggest that the standalone service could stick around for a while.

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4 replies on “Google Voice gets better at transcribing voicemails”

  1. Amen to that gentleman! I am also in with both of Carlos Vargas and D. I hope Hangouts and Google Voice synchronize well as I use Google Voice number as my main number and Google Hangouts for text. Long live Google Voice. I hope folks at Google in Cupertino are listening.

  2. GV made going prepaid/mvno a lot easier. I never had to port a number through questionable customer service and I could change providers as often as I wanted without disrupting my contacts. I, too, would pay a reasonable price for the service, and it would be huge blow to lose it. Hangouts calling has only made it more valuable, and it’s way better than past gv voip hacks.

    I do hope they reunify things though. If you want to get/take calls and texts over data in one app, your texts no longer archive at the voice website, but your call logs are still there. I don’t really care where things get unified, but having everything in one place was nice.

  3. I am one of those die-hard users, I hope they dont kill off Google Voice. Hell I would be more than glad to pay for it as a subscription if it meant keeping the service alive.

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