Speech Recognition Tech Through the Years

Speech Recognition TechYou’re likely familiar with Siri or J.A.R.V.I.S. There’s two things that distinguish both: their users “talk” to them (i.e., give them vocal commands) and they respond. The thing is, Siri is actual, existing technology, and J.A.R.V.I.S. is still fictional tech (it’s way too advanced for what currently exists). And it’s not just Siri, too—just ask about the products of companies like Twin Cities EMR Consulting, LLC.

Voice Recognition Through the Years

The thing is, voice recognition technology used to be a dream. People used to never imagine machines “intelligently” responding to human vocal commands. The reason? Human language is extremely complicated compared to computer code.

Early speech recognition systems back in the 50s and 60s could only understand digits (née numbers). In 1952, Bell Laboratories came up with the “Audrey” system that recognizes digits spoken by a single voice. A decade later produced IBM’s “Shoebox” machine, which understood 16 spoken English words.

But, the earliest tech was extremely limited. It wasn’t really until the 70s that it took off via interest and funding from the U.S. Department of Defense’s DARPA program. Since then, technology further evolved until the likes of Siri were born.

The Future

Ever notice something with Tony Stark’s J.A.R.V.I.S.? It’s easy to recognize that Tony’s digital butler is a highly self-aware A.I., more than just a handy assistant that follows vocal commands. That is the future of voice recognition technology. But, it seems we’re not that far from such tech anymore—only several years away, according to Google engineer Johan Schalkwyk.

Schalkwyk is working on creating speech systems that plug into Google’s huge amounts of data. He claims that a project currently in testing allows computers to “hear” and “think” about what people tell Google when they want to look for something. In fact, an engineer for Siri says they’re working to develop speech recognition that’s smart enough to actually engage in an authentic conversation.

This is great news for the world. It might concern several anti-futurists and make them worry about an A.I. apocalypse, but the real deal is that people are building machines to be more efficient at doing a bunch of tasks. People are not going to see T-1000s or Skynet running amok anytime soon.