Voice recognition presented a significant step in accessibility for and to technology. It freed the hands of the responsibility of certain actions which, in turn, enabled devices to be positioned in different areas and provided new improvements to existing technology which made them more appealing. It was a liberating technology: like breaking the sound barrier. It is now increasingly part of the fabric and function of everyday tasks and interactions. It is becoming more and more normal. There are things to know about voice recognition: how it works and where it is finding a home.
How It Works
Voice recognition uses a mix of acoustic and linguistic technology. The acoustic modelling represents the connection between the audio and the speech. The linguistic model matches the speech to words. It must be trained. The more its fed with information and data (audio and vocabulary) the better it will perform. Additionally, the hardware makes a difference. A sound card for a desktop might not have the capacity to record at a high enough sample rate or frequency. Acoustic models are optimised when they’re trained to work with the same specs as the device they’ll primarily be used on.
Transcription and Captioning Services
Voice recognition’s use, as mentioned, has extended to various industries. A notable example is transcription services. This technology has become foundational in the medical, legal, journalistic, business, and academic industries. There is voice transcription software – like Verbit’s – which is flexibly used for live and pre-recorded content. Both utilise voice recognition software (obviously) and AI to transcribe the speech with ninety-nine-percent accuracy in Verbit’s case.
The transcription software can be integrated into Zoom and used to for live content so the audience needn’t transcribe themselves or make copious notes and can then focus on the content. Captioning is also an option for these live events, as well as pre-recorded ones for training videos, for instance. Voice recognition is having a huge impact on the ability for people with different abilities to access content.
Voice assistants are another thing which helps those who are differently abled. Siri, Alexa, and other assistants from Google and Samsung, etc., can be asked to accomplish tasks like search for something on the internet, set a timer, message someone. Even smart TVs have these capabilities now.
The AI is still improving, as is the voice recognition software. There are anecdotes from customers which suggest sometimes it takes a few attempts for the assistant to correctly understand what has been said, and that the AI can be limited in certain situations, like finding an answer on the internet. However, they provide, as mentioned, a new and effective means of interaction for users.
Sci-fi films have longed used voice recognition as a security feature. It has now found its way into reality. Call centers are using the technology to ensure that their callers are who they say they are, so that there is less chance of fraudulent activity. Banking apps have also taken to using these biometric measures.
Learning a Language
Language learners can find voice recognition within apps and software helping them learn a language. They talk and the app or software can give them feedback on pronunciation, intonation, and accents.
Voice recognition is still a developing technology despite how embedded it already is. What will it be capable of next?