Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index

Street, lane, or boulevard?

by William Jackson on 2007-02-11

The first time I can recall trying to use a voice-recognition customer servicesystem over telephone was when I had to activate my installation of Windows XP.It worked okay, but it only asked questions that required “yes”, “no”, or anumber as the answer.

I was recently waiting for a bus, and I wanted to know how long I would bewaiting. Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a voicerecognition system that will give bus schedules. You can also tell it where youare and find out when the next bus will be there.

I gave them a call (the number is on the signs at every bus stop) and begannavigating through the system. For the life of me I couldnʼt get it tounderstand that I was standing at the corner of Lamar Blvd. and Braker Ln. Itrecognized “lamar”, but then asked me if it was “street, lane or boulevard”. Inever got it to understand that I was saying “boulevard”.

I kept this up for about fifteen minutes and finally hung up when I saw my buscoming.