Voice recognition is the next big thing

Speech recognition systems have seen tremendous growth over the past few years.

February 09, 2017

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Speech recognition systems have seen tremendous growth over the past few years.

The Amazon Echo played a huge role in the adoption of voice recognition technology (Source: Amazon)

Voice recognition was a hot topic at the recently concluded Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, with voice-controlled robots and Amazon Alexa-enabled speakers making a huge splash at the fair. With this, analysts are expecting that said technology will be the next big thing in electronics and will pave the way for faceless computing.

The adoption of voice as a platform has seen tremendous growth over the last few months, Shawn DuBravac, chief economist of the Consumer Technology Association, said at a CES forum. "We have seen more progress in this technology in the last 30 months than we saw in the first 30 years," DuBravac said, adding that electronic devices will soon be able to pick up spoken commands the way humans do.

In fact, the word error rate for speech recognition by machines dropped to 6.3 percent, courtesy of Microsoft Research's industry-standard evaluation. Microsoft noted that 20 years ago, the lowest rate for this kind of system stood at 43 percent. This significant development will see makers integrating voice recognition into their gadgets.

The technology is also seen to improve products that are currently available on the market. Voice-activated digital assistants such as Google Home or Amazon Echo will sell 10 million units this year, IEEE Spectrum wrote, citing data from CTA.

In China, suppliers are already introducing products that respond to voice commands either through an app or a patented voice-recognition technology. This Android robot, for example, answers to the user's requests using Amazon’s voice assistant.

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