VietNamNet Bridge – Since Siri was introduced on the market together with iPhone 4S, the fans of the “eaten Apple” said they wished to see the Vietnamese version of Siri one day. Now they wish has partially come true.
VIS - the automatic call switching system, and iSago--which allows searching for restaurants and places for eating in HCM City through fluent voice have been marketed.
H Nhung in district 3 of HCM City, opened iSago app on her iPhone 4, and said slowly: “Toi muon an bun bo o quan 3” (I want to eat vermicelli and beef in district 3). Five seconds later, a lot of addresses in district 3 appeared on the screen of the iPhone 4 which can satisfy the requirement of Nhung. Each of the address is connected with Google Maps. And if Nhung chooses one address, the iPhone showed the way to the address.
“Toi muon an hai san o quan 1,” (I want to eat seafood in district 1) Nhung gave another request. The same process repeated with a lot of seafood restaurants in district 1 appeared on the screen for Nhung’s choice.
The machines, which can understand people’s voice, have for the first time appeared in Vietnam.
Dau Ngoc Ha Dung, a collaborator of the artificial intelligence laboratory, a unit of the HCM City University of Natural Sciences, typed 08.38325929 on the key board. From this number, a female voice spoke: “Day la truong dai hoc khoa hoc tu nhien thanh pho Ho Chi Minh. Ban can gi?” (This is the HCM City University of Natural Sciences. How can I help you?). “Toi muon gap phong dao tao,” (I want to meet someone from the training division), Duong said. “Do you want to meet someone from the training division?” – the female voice spoke. The operator network repeated the request and then made Duong through.
Duong made a lot of other operations to get connected to the divisions she wanted, without having to touch the keyboard and she did not have to dial the extension numbers.
As such, Nhung could find the addresses of the restaurants in HCM City just by using her iPhone 4 and her voice. Of course, the smart phone needs to be installed with iSago software. Meanwhile, Duong could connect the divisions of the school with the VIS software which allows to automatically switch the calls.
These are the two Vietnamese apps for iPhone 4 developed by the laboratory over the last three years.
According to Dr Vu Hai Quan, Director of the laboratory, said that iSago has been created based on the voice recognition technology of the US AT&T mobile phone manufacturer which has been developed in the last many years with the typical app – Speak4it. Meanwhile, VIS has been developed based on “Tieng noi Phuong Nam – VOS” which was introduced in 2009.
According to Quan, iSago and VIS now can only operate on iPhone 3/3Gs and iPhone 4 with iOS operation system of Apple, not on other operation systems.
Quan also said that Viettel, a big telecom company, is planning to cooperate with his laboratory to develop iSago which can run on Android operation system.
“We have received the invitation for cooperation from Viettel, but no official deal has been made so far,” he said. “If we sign the contract, we will complete the shift into Android just within one month,” he added.
In the near future, iSago would be posted on App Store, so that iPhone users in Vietnam can download it free of charge.
Of course, iSago still cannot be compared with Siri of the US’ SRI – a very professional app. iSago now only has about 100 key words, while VIS about 80 words, therefore, the accuracy level would not be high.
Quan has admitted that iSago and VIS can only recognize the voices of southern (HCM City) and northern (Hanoi), while they cannot recognize the voice of people from the central region.