What Is Voice Recognition and How Does It Work?

You probably have heard about voice or speech recognition that allows you to “talk” to the computer so that it can convert your speech into text. It is not a new theory though! Developments in voice recognition technology through the years have made it possible for a computer to perceive continuous speech, several voices and various speech patterns and even disparate languages.

Let us discuss the concept of voice recognition in detail!

What Is Voice Recognition?

Voice or speech recognition is an integrative subfield of computational linguistics that develops methodologies and technologies enabling the recognition and translation of spoken languages into text by computers. It is also termed as automatic speech recognition, speech to text or computer speech recognition.

It is a non-contact, non-invasive and easy to use technology. In simple terms, a system’s ability to process what a person is saying – speaker verification, “technology based on an individual’s vocal physiology and behavior to validate a claim of identity.” Speech recognition technology works on the concept where words and phrases are broken down into different kinds of frequency patterns that further taken together to describe the unique way of a person’s speaking. It enables the users to cooperate with the technology in a simple way of speaking. Enabling hand free requests, reminders and many other simple tasks.

Is it beneficial? Yes, of course!

The major benefit of speech recognition technology is making our daily life tasks easier. The two benign factors for the existence of speech recognition are security and usage. However, both of these are still in the working conditions by the engineers to enhance accuracy.

How does voice recognition technology work?

The concept of speech recognition basically lies on analog to digital conversions, i.e. voice recognition software on computers requires that analog audio be converted into digital signals. A computer which is used for decoding the signal must have a digital database or terminologies of words along with speedy means for comparing this data into signals. The speech patterns are further stored on the hard drive and gets loaded into the memory when the program gets run. Further these stored patterns are checked against the output of A/D converter through an action known as pattern recognition.

There are 3 ways that voice recognition technology can meet your needs – command & control, dictation & text-to-speech capability. Text-to-speech feature in computers using speech recognition technology allows the computer to read the text you have typed. The computer use “synthesizers” to produce sound similar to human’s speaking voice. Speech recognition software is able to interpret your sounds by refining your words, loading it to a format that can be read by it and further do the evaluation to solve its meaning. Simply analyze, filter and digitize!

In this kind of technology, your voice works as an input device. By uttering a command, you can navigate menus, toolbars and activate different applications too. Likewise, you can also dictate words through a microphone and let the computer convert them into text instead of typing them through keyboard. Based on the algorithms and previous input, the software makes a guess of your sayings. The speaker’s use of language is acknowledged by the software. In real practice, the size of voice recognition program’s vocabulary is somehow related to the random access memory capacity of the computer in which it is installed. The complexity of speech recognition software increases when it is regulated towards multiple different markets as the engineers need to program the ability to figure out more variations.

Uses of Speech recognition

Undoubtedly, the biggest benefit of speech recognition technology is the ability to create content quickly; much faster than typing that’s for sure. In fact, no matter how fast you speak, as long as you are fairly clear in your diction, the software will always keep up.

Some of the applications of speech recognition are discussed as follows:

1. In car-systems

A manual control input enables the speech recognition system and indicated to the driver by an audio prompt. Simple voice commands can be used to trigger phone calls, selecting radio stations or play music.

2. Health Care

Voice recognition technology has benefits in health sector too. For front or back-end of medical document process, speech recognition can be enforced. In case of front-end, the provider dictates into a speech recognition engine, recognized words are presented as spoken and dictator is responsible for editing and signing off the document. For back-end, provider dictates to a digital dictation system and the voice is routed through a speech recognition machine. The recognized draft document is then routed with original voice file to editor and finalized.

3. Telephony and other domains

Either in the field of telephony or in computer gaming & simulation, applications of speech recognition is prevalent. In telephony, this technology is used in contact centers by integration with IVR systems. Apart from this, the enhancement of mobile processor speed has made speech recognition practical in smart phones too.

4. Education

Considering education sector, speech recognition can also be useful for language learning process. From teaching pronunciation, speaking fluency improvement to provide benefit to the blind or low vision people. Speech-to-text programs can also help disabled students by relieving them from handwriting or typing tasks.

The use of voice recognition is growing on a quick basis and can be used as work assistant. Companies like Google, Amazon have provided voice recognition software to interact with the users on routine basis. Interpreting voice to text, setting up reminders, surfing the internet, giving response to simple requests, playing music or sharing any kind of information can be easily accomplished with the help of voice recognition technology. 

The Final Verdict 

The concept of speech recognition has enabled consumers to do multitasking by simply talking to the software. Consequently, your spoken work is turned into written text within no time. However, the accuracy rates of this technology are still on improvement stage due to some errors.  Background noise error generating false input, alike sound words error are very common and needs to be improved for full accuracy of the technology.

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