June 5th, 2009 | Published in Google Voice
Numbers are important. Whether it is a time to meet, a phone number to call, or an amount of money, catching a number correctly is a big deal. Trying to scribble down the right number while listening to a voicemail can be a pain, which is why number accuracy is a top priority for our approach to voicemail transcriptions. Yesterday, we added number normalization to help isolate numbers, phones numbers and times and display them as numbers that are easier to read than words.
Here are a few example of how number normalization has improved some or our own transcripts:
"...it's four twenty five..." is now "...it's 4:25..."
"it's wednesday about a quarter to four..." is now "it's wednesday about a 3:45..."
"two hundred fifty two dollars and ninety eight cents" is now "$252.98"
"...gave you forty eight hours..." is now "48 hours"
Transcribing voicemail accurately is not a small challenge because no two people pronounce the same word exactly the same way and because background noise and mobile phone line quality can vary dramatically. Since the Google Voice transcription process if fully automated, results may vary from one message to the next, so you may want to listen to the message before you write that $252.98 check, but this should help you get the gist of a message faster.
Remember also that you can have new voicemail notifications sent by SMS to your cell phone by just checking the box in your settings.
Posted by Vincent Paquet