Nintendo DS in voice recognition shocking stunner

Melodrama as BBC-types make fuss over 3-year old game

Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training was released on the Nintendo Wii nearly three years ago. It’s a bit surprising then that some people are only just starting to make a fuss about the touch-and-go voice recognition software that the game uses. Apparently, shockingly, the game isn't perfect.

The point of

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Brain Training is to give you a variety of puzzles and brain teasers to keep your cognitive skillset nice and sharp. One or two of those tests require you to give the answer verbally, and this is the bit that’s only just starting to cause a bit of commotion.

According to numerous reports spread by various BBC news portals, the console is not very good at understanding some accents. What a shocker! The BBC, an organisation usually associated with the reporting of hard news, seems to have had a field day over the story.

BBC drops the ball

Is the Nintendo DS racist? Does it hate Scottish people, for example? Because it refuses to understand their accents.

The answer is, of course, no. And it’s a pity that this non-story is being propagated around the web with so much enthusiasm.

Voice recognition software in general is not advanced enough to understand strong accents. It’s not even good enough to understand the Queen’s English most of the time. Therefore it seems ridiculous that this tiny handheld console is being singled out as some kind of barbaric, prejudiced nazi gadget.

The fact that the story was picked up and presented in a deadly serious fashion by the BBC’s Watchdog programme, takes the saga from the level of tasteless to annoying.

Watch the BBC Watchdog clip