Voice recognition, also known as ‘’speaker recognition,’’ has gained prominence with the public worldwide, while the rise of AI and intelligent assistants has only exacerbated its appeal. One of the most promising tech trends of today, it’s got everyone and their dog hustling to get their very own voice-powered assistants. Whether it’s on your smartphone or a standalone home device, the utility of the voice assistant is undeniably a large part of its appeal.
Everyone’s got an assistant
The personal assistant is no longer a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Thanks to tech giants Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft, we can all have one now, as long as her/his name is Siri, Alexa, OK Google, or Cortana. We might not physically see them, but they’re always around to help us by comprehending and carrying out our most capricious spoken commands. They allow us to plan meetings and schedule events, book restaurants, shop, and conduct research, all on the go, while helping us multi-task efficiently and save time.
Voice assistants are now available on hundreds of millions of devices worldwide, including smartphones, tablets, smart watches, headphones, TVs, and more. Numerous North American households now also have a home-based assistant like Google Home or Amazon Echo, to help the entire family get things done at the house.
Let’s review five recent personal and business voice-assisted or voice recognition applications that caught our eye next.
1. Voice search
Most of us know how to use Siri and Google voice search on our phones – it is as easy and natural as asking our moms to do something for us. Although not perfect, smartphone voice assistants are getting better at recognising obscure vocabulary, managing accents and understanding many languages. As the tech gets better, so do smart speaker sales and predictions about their future proliferation, with some sources claiming 30% - 50% of all web searches are to be done screen-free within the next 2-3 years.
The voice recognition industry is already a billion-dollar industry and this trend is projected to continue. Smart TVs are also starting to incorporate the Google Assistant; soon we won’t even need a remote control to switch between channels.
What does this mean for you? It certainly means that you need to future-proof your business by making your assets voice-friendly, or risk not being found by ubiquitous voice assistants.
2. Voice in biometrics
Voice biometrics technology is now being used in the call centre service sector, providing companies with an efficient and secure tool to identify callers in need of customer service or technical support. Sesame is a such a voice biometric identification system, which uses natural speech for real-time caller identification, creating a voice print based on previous calls without the need for additional enrolment actions. Sesame is already helping prevent identity theft in the healthcare, insurance, banking and finance sectors.
3. Text processing using voice
Thanks to advanced voice recognition tech, we no longer have to type long emails, text messages or documents – we can simply speak our thoughts into our smartphones, tablets or computers’ microphones and voilá – text is magically typed in by the apps. This is not only handy while driving, cooking or otherwise having your hands occupied, it’s also great for multi-tasking and saving time. Have you tried Google docs voice typing yet? All you need is a microphone, the free Google Chrome browser, and something to say.
4. Virtual PC assistants
Virtual assistants for your PC, also known as virtual brains, are AI-powered virtual assistant software packages, which use voice recognition interfaces. Braina by Microsoft is an example of such a tool. Braina is an intelligent personal assistant for Windows, which allows you to interact with your laptop or desktop using voice commands. Interestingly, you can also use it to convert speech into text in more than 100 languages.
5. Speech recognition in OS systems
Similar to Braina, the Windows 10 operating system integrates hands-free speech recognition and its own voice-enabled assistant called Cortana. Turning it on is as easy as using it and you’ll probably never want to use your keyboard again. We can only hope that speech-to-text functionality will increase the amount of quality content produced, encourage critical thought, and spark meaningful discussions.
Now that you are aware that voice-recognition technology has applications beyond helping you order pizza, are you likely to expand your usage of it and apply to your work?
Copywriter: Ina Danova