In the last few years, there has been immense progress in technology. Voice recognition technology is one of them. With the rise of artificial intelligence as well as intelligent assistants, voice recognition has system has gained much popularity in lesser time. It has become an important part of our lives.
What is Voice Recognition?
Voice recognition is a software program having the ability to receive the words or phrases spoken by the human and decoding them into signals to carry out the command. It is a system that allows the user to interact with the technology just by speaking to it. You can enable hands-free requests, add reminders also. This technology is becoming a standard feature in the new gadgets.
Advantages of Voice Recognition Technology
Voice recognition technology has become a modern-day practice. This system uses NLP i.e. Natural language Processing. It is the way by which computers analyze, understand, and derive the meaning of human speech in a useful manner. Here are some benefits of the voice recognition system
- Easy and Speedy: Speaking is easier than typing. Just by giving a voice command through voice recognition integrated into a digital assistant, you can complete the task. For example, instead of typing, you can say “Hey Alexa, play me a nursery rhyme”. It would search the web and play the rhyme for you.
- Hands-Free Technology: In case your hands as well as eyes are busy, it is of incredible use. For example, you are cooking, driving, or holding a baby; you can make the use of this amazing technology. You can communicate with it and get the required information or tasks done. In case you are cooking, the system would help you with the instructions and make a call or message if you are holding a baby in your arms. If you are driving, it would provide you the directions and much more.
- Aiding the Hearing and Visually Impaired: There are many individuals with visual impairments and rely on the text-to-speech dictation systems as well as screen readers. Voice recognition technology is the ultimate choice for those. They can just speak and give the commands, the system would spell out the texts for them. Moreover, it is a beneficial communication tool for individuals having hearing problems. They can provide the instructions and the voice recognition system would convert the audio to the text and make it easier for them to work.
Working of a Voice Recognition System
Today, we are surrounded by hi-tech equipment like smartphones, laptops, smart TV, tablets, etc. A voice recognition system is one of them. The increased use of this technology has made it popular. Even big companies are implementing this technology for their businesses. To get more out of it, it is important to understand how it works.
Basically, the voice recognition system works on analog-digital conversion technology. First, the software records the voice of analog audio speech of the human and then it digitalizes it and breaks it into segments. Each word spoken by the person is broken up into segments that include tones as well as speed also. Further, the speech pattern of the speaker is stored on the drive as well as loaded in the memory.
The situations are always different, therefore the speaking speed of the speaker is not always the same. To understand the speech, the system needs to adjust the sound to match the template stored in the memory. After this, the system matches the segments with the phonemes. A phoneme is an element of a language that represents the sound made and used to form meaningful expression. In the English language, there are around 40 phonemes.
Earlier, voice recognition systems used to consider the grammatical as well as syntactical rules. In case the words were spoken by the speaker fit into a specific set of rules, it would determine the words. However, there are numerous exceptions in human language. Mannerism, accents, and dialects can influence the speech to a great extent. Rule-based systems were incapable of handling the variations. It was difficult for that system to handle continuous speech.
However, today’s voice recognition systems use a powerful statistical model. Although, this model is complicated it helps in taking out the right information. Basically, the statistical model uses the mathematical and probability functions to figure out the hidden information. Based on user training and a built-in dictionary, each phenome is assigned a probability score by the system while matching the segments with phenome. The system works to figure out where each word of the speech starts and stops.
The best example of the process is the phrase “wreck a nice beach”. This given phrase sounds like a speaker is saying “recognize speech”. Now to get the right meaning of this phrase, the system has to analyze the available phenomes.
Apart from these, there are many words that have different meanings and different spelling buys they sound the same. The most common examples include “air” and “heir”, “their” and “there”, “bee” and “be” and many others. It is hard to differentiate between these words. However, the software developers have compiled and prepared the training data that is updated for improving the performance. This training data trains the system and help it recognizing the acronyms and terms and execute the right command.
Application of Voice Recognition System
The voice recognition technology, as well as digital assistants, have gained so much popularity. From smartphones, it has moved to our homes. Moreover, it is making its place in different industries like banking, healthcare, marketing, etc.
- Banking: Voice-activated banking helps in reducing the requirement of human customer service and saving the employee cost as well. Moreover, personalized banking assistant can help in boosting loyalty and customer satisfaction too.
- Businesses (Workplace): Incorporating voice recognition technology in the workplace for simple tasks would increase efficiency. Recording the minutes, searching reports on the computer, making travel arrangements, scheduling meetings, etc. are the common tasks that can be done with ease.
- Healthcare: It is the industry where seconds are crucial. Hands-free and immediate access to information helps in increasing medical efficiency as well as patient safety. Less paperwork, providing instructions or reminders to nurses, finding medical reports quickly, improved flows, etc. are the common benefits.
- Language Learning: Another application of this technology is for removing the language barriers. You can use this transformative application to cut down the cultural boundaries and language barriers in the workplace.
Popular Voice Recognition Systems
Digital assistants are the programs that are designed to complete the tasks assigned and respond to the queries as well. Searching the internet, transcribing the voice to text, setting up reminders, responding to requests like playing music, sharing traffic or weather information are the common uses of voice recognition assistants. The list of some popular digital assistants includes
Apple’ s Siri
Siri is the first voice assistant that was created by mainstream tech companies. Since 2011, it is the part of all the Apple products like iPhones, Apple Watch, iPad, Mac Computer, Apple Tv, and the Home Pod. Be it in your home or on the road, Siri is with you to help you everywhere. With the help of Siri, you can send a text message and make a call on your behalf also.
If you are an iPhone user, you can make good use of Siri. For example, when you say “Hey Siri, book me a ride to the airport”, Siri would open the ride service app on the phone and book the ride for you. Today Siri is available in more than 20 languages and 30 countries.
Google Assistant offers voice-activated device control, voice searching, and voice commands. It helps you to complete a number of tasks like
- Open the apps on the phone
- Find the information online like directions, news, weather, etc.
- Control the music on your phone
- Sends message
- Run reminders
- Read the notifications on your phone and many more
Cortana is a free smart digital assistant that supports you by keeping your notes, giving you reminders, helping you manage your calendars and much more. It can help you in making calls and send texts too. Based on the contacts the Cortana gives you reminders. It also finds the different kinds of information like traffic updates, weather, etc. You can set reminders according to the locations also. It would detect and alert you on the phone about the tasks when you reach that location.
Alexa is another popular voice recognition technology. It is an intelligent system that allows you to voice unbale the devices connected to it. The word “Alexa” would wake it and it would listen to your voice for the commands. You can use it on Amazon devices like Echo, Echo Show or Echo Dot. It is compatible with few third-party systems also like Fire TV, LG InstaView refrigerator, Ecobee Switch+ light switch, etc. It can accomplish numerous tasks such as
- Ordering food from a nearby restaurant
- Get you the movie showtimes
- Finding recipes online and providing step-by-step instruction
- Getting news updates
- Providing location-based reminders and much more