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Ten Things To Know About The Future Of Speech Recognition

April 2020 by Colin Tankard, Managing Director, Digital Pathways

Automatic speech recognition (ASR), the ability to speak directly to a device instead of using a keypad, has come a long way but has much more to offer going forward.

The technology is already in use both at home and at work but has, to date, been limited due to its unreliability, but this is changing. Just look at new children’s reading app Fonetti, powered by Auris Tech, developed to increase children’s reading ability, spelling and grammar, advance literacy and provide access to voice enabled technology in a meaningful way. Unlike other similar offerings, the software behind Fonetti is able to recognise all accents and to handle all variables, including coping with noisy backgrounds such as kitchens and television noise.

We are getting used to using command and control systems such as Alexa or Siri. However, the more sophisticated automatic speech recognition platforms will take us much further.

Here are ten things ASR may offer in the future:

1. It is likely that keyboards and other control devices will be totally phased out and in their place we will be using our voices.

2. The use of virtual assistance is due to grow exponentially, as we continue to use ASR to manage our homes and our lives.

3. Your voice will become a major factor of your cyber life. It will take over from the traditional password and increase your on-line safety.

4. Not only will devices be able to recognise your voice but your mood too, as algorithms begin to learn to empathise.

5. ’Wake words’ will disappear making conversation easier and with a better flow.

6. ASR Applications will benefit those who are in situations where their hands are needed for other roles such as driving, working machinery etc., or in an environment where seconds are crucial, such as a hospital where sterile operating conditions are a priority. Hands-free and immediate access to information can have a significantly positive impact on patient safety and medical efficiency.

7. Any person with a physical disability, such as arthritis, will find great benefits by using their voice rather than keyboards and a mouse.

8. ASR will help to train people to speak again, possibly following a stroke, by listening to them talking and highlighting their clarity of speech and pronunciation of words.

9. ASR will revolutionise the way children learn to read. It will improve fluency and understanding as it removes the fear of reading out loud, which is often a worry for children. ASR will give confidence, as it listens and gently encourages children to read, empowering them to enjoy the learning process.

10. It will remove language barriers, allowing people to speak fluently to others. A world without language barriers will open up untold ways of collaboration and information exchange.

Advanced speech recognition is here and will continue to dominate the way in which we all manage our daily lives and businesses. How exciting is that!

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