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Google predicts Star Trek-like talking computers within five years

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Star Trek The Next Generation

When it comes to Star Trek technology, Sneak was always more impressed that Captain Picard had a computer that could conjure him up any drink he could think of, rather than one he could talk to. But some people, it seems, just love to talk.

Take Google, for example. According to Amit Singhal, senior search engineer at the firm, Google will have developed a Star Trek-like computer that responds to spoken commands, within three to five years.

“We have built baby steps of this already,” Singhal told The Telegraph.

Singhal's vision is to create a device that could help the flow of conversations, giving the user bits of data to back up their arguments, without having to stop what they're doing.

So instead of barking out questions at a smartphone-based digital assistant, such as Siri, the user would merely punctuate their sentences with a quick question, and carry on talking until the answer was flashed up on their fridge – or perhaps their Google Goggles.

Sneak has long lamented the widespread use of smartphones to make pub quizzes easier, and suspects Singhal's plans will only make matters worse.

Surely these whizz kids would be better off working out how to build a computer that could magic up a pint of Saddleback Bitter?

22 Oct 2012

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