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OK Google puts the world in your hand generally
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OK Google is the call sign of the voice-activated application for the Android phone. Say the words OK Google and she magically appears as a one-word apparition: Listening. One cannot always say that of her human equivalents. - photo by Joseph Cramer, MD
I have a newfound friend. She is a recently hired assistant, a brilliant colleague, a clever confidant. She follows me everywhere. She is a genie without a lamp. She comes whenever I call, OK Google.

For iPhone owners, you can have the same companionship with Apples Siri.

OK Google is the call sign of the voice-activated application for the Android phone. Say the words OK Google and she magically appears as a one-word apparition: Listening. One cannot always say that of her human equivalents.

Google is listening for the masters voice. It imitates the old RCA logo of the dogs ears attuned to the gramophone. Actually, if you ask OK Google, she will tell you the original picture was by Francis Barraud and is of his dog, Nipper. The dog (part Jack Russell terrier) was born in 1884 in Bristol, England. Furthermore, Nipper is listening to an Edison Bell cylinder phonograph, not a gramophone.

Like Nipper, OK Google must be trained to respond to your voice. Starting out, the ghost in the phones asks you to repeat a word or two a couple of times until it knows your voice. It is much easier than training my Shih Tzu, Wookie. In fact, if OK Google were Wookie, it would never learn your verbal commands.

The human operator has to be trained as well. In the beginning, the phone was not responding even if I raised my voice. My wife reminded me the wake-up call is not Hey Google. We bonded after I belatedly learned to say OK Google.

A smart friend and Everly Brothers aficionado tells his Siri, Wake up, Little Susie. According to Google, this hit was released in 1957 and rose to the No. 1 and 2 spots in America and England. The brothers, Don and Phil, were born to a musical family working the coalfields of Kentucky.

It is that simple. Now you have the world in your hand.

OK Google, what is the amount of dirt displaced by the Grand Canyon? According to the Park Service's website, it is 5.45 trillion cubic yards.

What is the average rainfall for the Amazon River Basin? The average is approximately 2,300 millimeters or 7 feet 5 inches.

It is not just a secret aid in Trivial Pursuit. It is also more than a Ken Jennings in your pocket. It can be helpful but sometimes is not.

When I asked it a question that included the name of the generic antibiotic ceftriaxone, it heard, What is the pediatric dose for separate tracks on? That led to a site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Web page was about the Zoonotic hookworm and how it migrates through the body. It even included pictures of the wiggling larvae that make separate tracks on the skin of pediatric patients.

For those who think OK Google gives too much information, you could be right. Fortunately, if you dont ask, it wont tell. It doesnt have to bore anyone with third-generation cephalosporins. It can share far more entertaining info, such as the earnings of the "SpongeBob SquarePants" movie or Madonna's age.

The technology behind such wonders includes the capacity to understand nine different languages. Forget different tongues; it has to understand the variations in English accents and dialects. It has to know that both "tomayto" and "tomahto" are tomato.

The query speeds through the air, using the power of the Google search engine to build the sentence in front of your eyes. It will go through who knows how many iterations until it hits its answer with, according to Google, 92 percent accuracy.

Some spouses may say their significant other doesnt get their questions right that often.

OK Google, who is going to be in the 2015 NCAA mens basketball Final Four?

OK. There are some things even Google doesnt know.