Everything You Need to Know About Voice Recognition Technology
Voice recognition has already come a long way, but this is only the beginning. Learn how it works, what some of the best voice-recognition technology is, and more.
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Today, with the advent of new technologies, communication has changed. For instance, when we call a large enterprise, a physical human being never answers our call. Instead, an automated voice recording answers and instructs you to press buttons to navigate through a built-in menu. Many mobile app development companies have come up with ideas beyond just pressing buttons; customers simply need to speak some words to solve their queries.
How Is This Possible?
This is all due to speech recognition programs that work using algorithms through acoustic and linguistic modeling. Acoustic modeling signifies the connection between linguistic units of speech and audio signals and language modeling matches the sounds with word sequences to distinguish between words that sound similar.
This software can be used in homes and businesses, which can enable users to speak to their computers and have their words converted into text via word processing and voice recognition. You can access function commands like setting an alarm, opening files, making a reservation at your favorite restaurant, and much more. On the other hand, some mobile apps are for precise business settings, such as medical or legal transcriptions.
What keeps speech recognition from becoming dominant is its unreliability. Sometimes, accents or speech impediments aren't comprehensible by word recognition platforms. And simply recognizing sound is not enough — the software must also recognize new words and proper nouns.
How This Technology Works
The world is inundated with smartphones, smart cars, and smart appliances, but we don't always consider the role that voice plays in these appliances. Speech recognition is incredibly complicated! For instance, imagine how a child learns a language. From the day the child is born, sounds surround them. Although very young children do not understand the words, they absorb all the cues and pronunciations, and their brains form patterns and connections based on how their parents communicate.
Speech recognition technology works in essentially the same way:
- The user speaks some words by invoking voice recognition on a mobile app.
- The spoken words are processed by the recognition software and converted to text.
- The converted text is then provided as input to the search mechanism, which returns the results.
Google’s machine learning algorithms have now achieved a 95% word accuracy rate for the English language.
Benefits of Voice-Based Mobile Apps
- Easier and faster: Initially, the only option to deliver a command was with a keypad. With voice recognition, communication with devices has become faster and more natural.
- Works precisely:Errorscan be avoided and users can focus on what they're doing instead of looking at their phone.
- Improved productivity: Voice-based mobile apps provide streamlined operations that enhance operational productivity.
- Safety improvement: Voice technology is quick and safe to interpret and follow, and requires less training.
- Multiple uses: Voice-based orders through mobile devices help to carry out tasks.
Why It's Important
By integrating voice recognition skills into your mobile app, you can do much more by not having to use your phone's keypad. When texting someone, typing long statements may result in errors and is always tedious, but with voice capabilities, you can have a hands-free communication experience. With voice technology, mobile app developers can have increased user interactions and user experience, as mobile app commands provide a unique way of addressing UX concerns. Whether you want to avoid distractions or are simply unable to manipulate the touchscreen, a voice assistant can prove to be the easiest solution.
Challenges Faced When Integrating Voice Capabilities
Since voice integration is a relatively new technology, challenges are bound to appear.
- Real-time response behavior:Real-time response depends on the network capabilities, network connection, and microphone of the device. When a user provides a voice command, the mobile app must interact with the server to convert the speech data into text. Once the text is converted and sent back to the device, it is action-executable. The process of sending and receiving app behavior is called real-time response behavior. If the defined action is to search, the device sends another request to the server to fetch the results. In such cases, network latency can be the most challenging thing. To overcome that, developers must ensure that the source code of the app is properly optimized. Moreover, they can move voice recognition and search functionalities to the server side.
- Languages and accents: Every software doesn’t support all languages and developers need to identify the regions of their target audience to make strategic decisions the regarding languages or accents recognized. Accents are a problem with language because it can be difficult to target and recognize each accent and the language associated with it. Google’s API supports different accents and is the best way to make your mobile app support tons of different accents.
- Punctuation:This is one of the biggest challenges that is faced when it comes to voice-based software. Unfortunately, even the best improvements and algorithms may not work because there are virtually endless sentences with different sorts of punctuations.
Some of the Best Voice Recognition Technology
- Baidu: A technology from China, Baidu focuses on Internet-related services and AI. This voice recognition technology is the amalgamation of deep learning, computer vision, speech recognition and synthesis, natural language understanding, data mining, and BI. It relies on deep learning algorithms that include the training of multi-layered virtual networks of neurons to recognize patterns for huge data. The Baidu mobile app enables users to search using voice and comes with voice assistant called Duer. Voice queries are more popular in China because it is more time-consuming to input text and because some people do not know how to use Pinyin.
- Siri: The “Hey Siri” feature enables users to invoke hands-free modes of communication. Siri works much better in iOS7 than it did in earlier versions. Siri responds faster, understands more, and speaks more naturally. If you look at a webpage or app, you can say, "Remind me about this," and Siri will know what you are looking at and add a reminder. You can even add time or place and you no longer have to copy/paste something or describe exactly what you want.
- Microsoft Cortana: Cortana is the virtual assistant created by Microsoft for several products. It is a free digital assistant that can send reminders, keep your notes and lists, take care of tasks, and help you manage your calendar. This app can provide notifications based on location, schedule a meeting, attach photos to a reminder, and much more. When Office 365 or Outlook is used, Cortana can remind you about the commitments outlined in an email. Similar to other smartphone assistants, Cortana will find a quick answer for your search queries and can even help find things you’re passionate about like your favorite restaurant and provide other suitable recommendations.
- Amazon Alexa: Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question — just ask to play music, adjust the light, or read a recipe and it will answer instantly without needing a screen or any manual activation. Whether you are at home or on the go, Alexa is designed to make your life easier by letting your voice control your world. The more you talk with Alexa, the more it adopts your speech pattern, pronunciations, and personal preferences. With the Alexa app, you can call or message anyone just by connecting your home’s Wi-Fi network. Once you get used to the quirks of using Alexa, it will feel more natural and responsive than speaking to a phone-based voice assistant like Siri. Ultimately, you will find yourself using your phone less frequently when you’re at home.
Voice recognition technology has indeed come a long way and with the intense competition between mobile app development companies, the advancement of voice recognition technology advancements is a long road ahead of us.
Published at DZone with permission of Krunal Vyas. See the original article here.
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