All You Need to Know About Speech Recognition Technology
“Hey Google, will you please call Linda?”
“Hey Siri, can you tell me how the weather is today?”
Every day, we use voice commands to control our mobile phones or voice assistants without giving a second thought on how they work. If you have ever wondered how your words are understood and translated by software, you came to the right place!
All software or mobile devices that you can control with voice commands use a technology called speech recognition software. It’s through this technology that computers or mobile devices can understand what you say and carry out your instructions accordingly.
Today, we will tell you all you need to know about speech recognition software and how it works. So read on to enhance your knowledge!
What is Speech Recognition Software?
Speech recognition software or voice recognition software is a computer program that can decipher what you say and convert it into text.
In simple words, speech recognition provides an alternative to typing on the keyboard of your phone or computer. You speak some words aloud, and the computer quickly converts them to text on the screen. The software tracks the sound waves in your speech and converts them into a digital format that computers and cell phones can understand.
Speech recognition software falls under the category of ‘behavioral biometrics,’ that can be helpful to authenticate identities.
How does Speech Recognition Software Work?
Speech recognition software recognizes the sounds and tries to associate them with relevant words to form meaningful text. As you speak, the software converts words and provides written text on the computer screen or mobile. Voice assistants or mobile phones can then use the information to perform any task as per the instructions.
The actual process of deciphering words and transferring them to text or machine-decodable instructions involves many steps. Let’s go through them in a brief step-by-step list:
Step 1: Analog to Digital Conversion
You create vibrations in the air when you speak. The analog-to-digital converters in speech recognition software convert the analog waves into digital formats that mobile devices and machines can understand. The software may also enhance the recording by eliminating unwanted sounds, ambient noise, and adjusting volume levels.
Step 2: Analysis of Digital Signal
The software will divide the signals into small segments that can be a few hundredths of a second or less. The application will then try to match the short segments with phonemes in the target language. Phonemes represent the sounds of human speech and help the program convert the signal into meaningful expressions.
Step 3: Conversion to Text
In the last stage, the software examines the phonemes and compares them with a huge database of sentences, phrases and words. Finally, the program delivers an output in the form of text on the computer or mobile screen.
The Evolution of Speech Recognition Software
What we described above is how a typical speech recognition technology worked, especially during the 1990s and early 2000s. Modern speech recognition technology has progressed far from just converting speech to text, and enables computers or mobiles to perform tasks through voice commands.
Most programs nowadays use natural language processing (NLP) and deep learning to do their job effectively. NLP is helpful in not only figuring out what you say, but also provides a way for machines to understand what you really mean and what you want them to do as a consequence.
Modern speech recognition software also takes the help of deep learning neural networks to do their job efficiently. No two people speak the same way, and we all have different biological construction, which makes all speech vary significantly. On top of that, there are other factors like accents or dialects which might also create challenges when deciphering words to text.
Deep learning enables the software to learn about the user, as they continue to use it. The software will gradually be able to detect the unique speech characteristics of a person and provide accurate and correct results (the majority of the time).
Modern speech recognition technology has progressed so far that you can give a command to your cell phone and have it carried out in a matter of seconds.
The Benefits of Speech Recognition Software
Speech recognition software can provide a lot of benefits, especially for businesses.
Dictating is almost 3 times faster than typing on average. You can save your time and effort and increase productivity by using this technology.
For quite some time, most speech recognition software covered only English, apart from a few regional languages. But modern platforms like Google’s cloud speech recognition platform can work with 120 languages.
Do Tasks Quickly and Automatically
Voice recognition technology can be paired with cell phones and voice assistants like Siri or Alexa to help you do tasks quickly. You can ask Google to switch on the lights, make coffee, or play your favorite song. Blurt out commands from your couch and have things done without lifting a finger!
According to BBC, speech recognition software can recognize sounds correctly 95% of the time. Another study by Stanford University found the technology to be more accurate and faster compared to humans. The software had a 20.4% less error rate than humans typing on the keyboard.
Applications of Speech Recognition Software
Voice recognition or speech recognition programs can be used for a number of purposes:
Voice transcription: The technology has brought major changes in the voice transcription industry. You can now use software to transcribe hours of speech much quicker than humans can. You can also save on costs as you won’t need to pay a human employee.
Device control: Just say “OK Google,” and your Android device gets ready to obey your voice commands. Using the same technique you can call people, reply to emails, read the news, or do a wide range of activities on your device.
Home automation: Smart homes can sync with voice assistants or mobile devices and allow you to issue voice commands to control lighting, heating, security and more.
Car Bluetooth Systems: Many vehicles come with radio equipment you can connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth. You can then use voice commands to call someone or dial numbers without even touching your mobile phone.
Speech Recognition can be a savior!
Speech recognition technology is the ideal tool for . You can issue voice commands and control devices and equipment within seconds.! Businesses can also increase productivity and save time and money without the need of human transcribers.
Modern speech recognition software has become a must at home, in the office, and on the road!