What better way to transcribe a conversation with a drug dealer, than to hook up your police duty cell phones to the new Google Voice service. Many undercover cops looking for ways to compile more evidence against the bad guys, are doing exactly that.
Undercover officer Vinny "Tubs" Tudesco of the Jersey City Police Department, tells reporters, "It was like Christmas here at da station, we give out da cell number, talk to da slime bags, and the conversation gets transcribed, like, right now. Talk about busting somebody's balls, this is the shit". Behind the scenes, once a cell number is registered with the system, Google Voice interprets words into text and records the entire conversation. "The judges just love this". Tudesco was then seen grabbing his crotch, instigating a thrusting motion, holding up a transcribed printout, then adding, "Got you right here, ya bastid".
There are some bugs left in the system however, and Google freely admits that it will have trouble with some speech patterns and dialects. "Including most everyone from New Jersey", says Google Voice engineer Thor Steeson. "If you speak relatively consistent 'Dictionary English', we like to call it, the transcription is quite good. The minute you throw in slang or mispronunciations, game over".
Steeson was referring to the software's interpretation of syllable separation and inflection based on recorded dictionary definitions. "Even our British friends have trouble recording properly. The word 'Al-yu-min-e-um' as an example will not be found or translated. If they could say the word Aluminum properly, it would register". Other dialects around the U.S. cause just as much trouble. Along with New Jersey residents, those from the Deep South, Northern Maine, Minnesota, Northern Michigan and Boston apparently don't stand a chance either. "Yeah, tough transcribing that gobelty-gook, but we try", says Steeson.
Illustrating one captured conversation from Boston, one husband was telling his wife to "park the car in the garage, grab the credit card from the drawer, meet me at the bar and we'll talk over a beer", translated to:" Pack duh Ka in duh Carriage, grab duh credit Cod from duh Trough, meaty at duh Bah, and wheel Tak over a Beah.