Talk to Books, Google’s Voice- first Technology for Online Book Search

Talk to Books

Over the years, the use of Voice –first technology   has progressively been on the rise.  You have seen them on the news or heard people talking about it. From smart speakers, Amazons Alexa, voice assistants, Google assistant, Apples Siri and many more; the use of voice search has steadily been on the rise.

According to Google, 20 % of all mobile searches queries are voice searches and it’s estimated the number will only grow up as time goes by.  Voice recognition accuracy is getting better with each day. It is under this premise that the search giant came up with one of the most profound   voice first technology innovations of 2018, Google’s Talk to books.

Google’s “Talk to Books” is a new tool which uses semantic search- search based on meaning rather than mere Keywords and powered by the Same Google conversational AI used to implement ‘Smart’ replies to provide an entirely new way to explore the myriad collection of books on the internet.

One of the most daunting experiences for researchers and readers alike is trying to get a snippet of information from a large text for reference purposes. This is especially so on the internet when using Keyword parameters, with the vast collection of books available. However, for the first time in human history, due to the Google talk to books, books can be searched at the sentence level, rather than the author or topic level.  How efficient is that? – That’s one for team book worms!

With Google’s Talk to Books tool, users can input a statement or a question and Talk to Books searches over hundreds of thousands of books for sentences which best provide a response. No dependence of Keyword matching is involved and the search results are fairly accurate. After all Google’s technology is now about 95% accurate.

What are some of the implications of the Google talk to books technology?

Book discoverability just got easier.

For most ardent book readers, they discover books from friends, family or a typical website ad. Now a conversational AI can recommend a book. All you need to do is ask the tool a question like, “what are good books about the renaissance?” and the Talk to Books can scour the internet and get quality search results which are largely on target.

It can produce books which are highly relevant and in part to the stated interest or question. This is because the search results are intentionally unfiltered giving you a selection of books that you’ve probably never heard of before.

Talk to Books has a highly efficient delivery system.

Since the tool uses voice first technology, people no longer have to use QWERTY keyboards to key in keywords for such parameters but rather, just their own voices and speaking to their computers.

The technology will highly be appreciated by the older generation who find typing a tad bit tiresome as well as generation Z that are brought up in the IOT, where they always expect to speak to a computer first to get their queries answered.  The use of Voice technology is rapidly expanding and don’t be surprised if Talk to books is integrated with Google assistant  enabling the tool  with semantic search capability to inform conversational search results delivered via voice.

Will pave way for development of new technologies

Google was kind enough to make the underlying code for Talk to Books open source. What this means is that they made it available for access to third party development. Countless applications can be built using this technology in various contexts.

Book publishers could apply the concept to their own inventories of books to gain invaluable insight, the media fraternity could also use the technology to search for subject matter experts and schools could also use the technology to expand or update their curriculum. The possibilities are virtually countless.

Another Blow to Brick and Mortar Bookstores

The only Drawback of Talk to Books is that it will yet again affect Brick and Mortar Book sellers as did digital books.  Book stores will have to adapt and provide something else. This is because chances are that people would not exactly be willing to go to a bookseller to ask questions related to new books, if they could just as easily ask a conversational AI (probably embedded in their portable devices) and select from millions of books available for purchase.

Google’s Talk to Books is definitely a game changer and we can’t wait to find just how much the technology will be integrated to our daily lives in the coming years.



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