Science fiction television and films have long employed speech recognition as an inevitable technological development. The future, these shows and films promise, will include computers that can talk to us and field questions.
We don’t yet have full-blown artificial intelligences carrying conversations with us, yet. The rise of functional digital assistants on smartphones brought us a big step closer to that vision.
Yet, terms like speech recognition and voice recognition get thrown around a lot without much explanation. If you’re not clear on what they are or if they’re the same, keep reading for our quick breakdown on speech and voice recognition.
Speech recognition focuses on gleaning the actual words that a person speaks. It typically uses that information for meaning or transcription.
The software does its best to overlook things like accents and other vocal anomalies. By getting to the actual words, it can glean meanings and generate an appropriate response.
The ability of speech recognition software to overlook vocal quirks makes it a strong candidate for widespread use.
Voice recognition technology bears some similarities to speech recognition technology. It reacts to human voices, but the goal isn’t understanding all voices more clearly. Instead, the software aims for recognition and better comprehension of one person’s voice.
That gives it a very different set of applications, which we’ll cover in more detail below.
Speech Vs Voice Recognition
Speech recognition shows up all over the place. You see it on smartphones with digital assistants that answer questions or turn on phone applications. You also see it in smart home technologies that let you do things like turn lights on or off.
You even see automatic speech recognition in areas like captioning with applications like smart Lexi. Another common area where you see speech recognition is on automated phone menus. The menu will prompt you for simple vocal answers like yes, no, operator, or agent that the system can use to direct your call.
Voice recognition technology sees use in areas like security. The software can confirm identities by comparing live speech patterns to the patterns found in recorded samples.
You also see a bit of crossover between speech and voice recognition in things like dictation software.
In higher-end dictation software, the software employs speech recognition. It also learns to recognize your specific speech patterns and quirks. That means it can work for someone else but will work best for you.
Speech Recognition and You
While once a science fiction concept, speech recognition is likely a part of your life already. Have you ever asked your phone to play a particular album or asked a smart home device to turn on the lights? If so, you’re engaging with speech recognition technology.
The same applies if you’ve ever slogged through a vocal phone menu.
The odds are lower that you’ve run across voice recognition technology unless you work in a high-security environment.
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