The first digital speech recognition system was introduced by IBM in 1961. Dubbed as Shoebox, the system was able to recognize 16 words and digits 0 trough 9. It was termed as Shoebox because it was approximately the size and shape of a standard American shoebox.
No doubt, the technology of speech recognition has come a long way since then. The modern speech recognition system, also known as a voice-activated digital assistant, has shrunk to the size of a mobile app, which can be installed on handheld devices like a smartphone. Google Assistant and Siri are two great examples of today’s digital assistant. Also, they have the feature of being synced with smartwatches, connected cars, and IoT enabled homes.
These voice-activated digital assistants or virtual assistants have applications in many sectors, such as in finance, marketing, human resources, and even in the public transportation. They are bringing down costs, simplifying processes, and increasing the overall efficiency of a business.
The improvement in natural language understanding and speech accuracy rates, as well the back of AI, ML, Big Data, and Cloud processing, have led businesses to explore the scopes of bringing in a speech recognition system to their processes and procedures.
Significances of Using Speech Recognition in the Workplace
Electronic documents replaced paper based record keeping practices a decade ago or two. Now, the technology is going a step further by replacing manually going through files on a computer with voice command. The technology of voice recognition has evolved to a level where you just don’t need to type out a correspondence. You can dictate it to a computer having voice assistance which can generate a flawless doc, instead. Offices will have more secured environment if swiping cards are replaced with the voice recognition. Voice commands control lighting, temperature and can optimize your comfort based on predetermined indicators. So, the speech recognition technology can be used in various office processes.
Here are some examples of using speech recognition in industries
Voice Technology in Finance Industry
The banking industry has discovered scopes in voice-activated solutions. They can help bank cut in the number of customer service representatives and reduce staffing costs. A personalized digital assistant can increase customer satisfaction and the rate of retention. Doubtlessly, customers would be happy to talk with an assistant for various queries in place of standing in a long queue to be attended by a human customer service representative.
- In August 2017, USAA announced the launch of a Pilot of new skills for Amazon Alexa, a virtual assistant developed by Amazon. With the help of this solution, USAA members will access information related to the account balance, transactions, and spending trends. The pilot program provides a conversational experience. It aims to answer some of the most frequently asked questions. The solution helps banks decrease the dependency on customer representatives for answering the queries of their customers.
- In the same month, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) also announced that customers can now pay their bills using Apple’s Siri. It’s a convenient solution supporting bank-client’s payment needs and allowing them seamlessly and conveniently bank using voice commands.
- In September 2017, US Bank announced to implement the voice technology helping customers check the account balance, get the payment due data and amount, obtain transactions, and even make payments just by speaking to an Amazon Alexa device.
Voice Technology for Smoother Retailing, Both Online and Offline
We all know that feeling and frustration when we walk around a whole store, search every single aisle but still don’t find what we are looking for. At the end, we have no choice but to get someone form the store in our shopping to find that product.
Similarly, when shopping online, we have to provide inputs to a search box and set several filters to reach your favorite products. We know that inputting on a touch screen is really a boring job, isn’t it?
In both cases, customers go through an unpleasant shopping experience, which could divert them to move on to other platforms. But here the voice-integration can be a much more useful implementation businesses in the retail industry can capitalize on.
Amazon’s suite of Echo devices is already here to deliver the advanced online voice shopping experience. The device supports in ordering million of products available on the Amazon shopping site. The most interesting part is that users do not have to lift even a single finger to place an order, even for payment.
Voice Technology to Make Publication Transportation Easier
Public transportation industry too is exploring how voice-assistance solutions can help them deliver enhanced customer experience. Public transportation companies, like Passenger, are integrating voice-platforms to make the booking of public transportations easier. The company is working on answering customers for their simple queries like “When is the next bus to work?” or “How to get to the nearest subways station?”
Using voice Technology in Crime Scenes
Voice technology can also be helpful in the crime-scene investigation. The University of East Anglia has put a speech recognition technology on trial to reconstruct the audio of a video captured with an unclear or no sound. The developers of this system are training to machine to indentify the appearance and shape of human’s lips and, how they form words and sentences.
This is simply taking the voice recognition technology a bit further of what Amazon is getting done from Alexa, Microsoft from Cortana, Google from Google Assistant, and Apple from Siri.
In fact, with the rapid advancement in voice recognition, the technology is gradually becoming the perfect alternative of manually giving commands to a computing system.
Voice is everywhere – the future of commanding computers
Voice recognition and AI can turn into a sophisticated blend to go ahead and devise a smartest solution that doesn’t require manual inputting in performing operations. Google has already integrated its voice assistant services to almost all of its apps like Gmail, Maps, Youtube, Play Music, Play Movie, and Google Play. Amazon’s offerings via Alex are quite impressive. Apple’s customers are happy with what Siri can do for them. Have you considered for scopes of adding voice recognition feature to your website or app?
Image credit – tender-retail.acceo.com