Google is taking sign-ups for Relate, a voice assistant that recognizes impaired speech

Google today launched a beta app that speech impaired people can use to assist with their voice. It also contributes to a multiyear research project to improve Google's speech recognition. Google Assistant and other features that use speech-to-text and speech-to speech will be more inclusive for users with neurological conditions.
Project Relate is the new app. Volunteers can sign up at Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and have difficulty understanding others. They will also need a Google account, an Android phone running OS 8 or higher. It's currently only available for English speakers in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Australia. They will be required to record 500 phrases. This should take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes.

Three new features will be available to volunteers on the Relate App

Volunteers will be able to access three new features in the Relate App after they share their voice samples. It can transcribe their speech in real-time. The Relate App also features "Repeat," which will transcribe the user's speech in real time. This can be helpful for people with speech impairments, such as those who use voice commands or have to communicate with their home assistant devices. Relate App can also be connected to Google Assistant, which allows users to turn on lights and play songs with their voices.

Other Google apps, such as Translate and Assistant, are not accessible to people with conditions such as ALS, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), Parkinson's disease, or ALS. Google launched Project Euphonia in 2019, a wide-ranging effort to improve its AI algorithms through the collection of data from people with impaired speech. Google is also working to train its algorithms to recognize sounds, gestures and words so it can help those who are unable speak. Google and its partners are still working on this project.

Aubrie Lee, a brand manger at Google who has muscular dystrophy and whose speech was affected, wrote today that "I'm used the look on peoples' faces when they don't understand what've said." Project Relate can be the difference between confusion and recognition.