Could you have imagined, a decade or two ago, that you could ask your phone what movie would be playing in the cinemas over the weekend? Or ask your phone where the nearest Italian restaurant was? This is Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) in action.
What is automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology?
Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is software technology that allows an already familiar piece of audio by a user to be automatically recognised and to trigger specific actions to be performed that are tagged to that user.
Speech recognition has come a long way since its inception. The first speech recognition systems were focused on numbers, not words. In 1952, Bell Laboratories designed the “Audrey” system, which could recognise a single voice speaking digits aloud.
Ten years later, IBM introduced the “Shoebox”, which understood and responded to 16 words in English. Current speech recognition technology fits in the palm of your hand and has been adopted by several mobile phone creators (Apple and Google, to name a few).
The phone’s artificial intelligence (AI) (Siri for iOS and Google’s in-house assistance) can recognize the individual user’s voice and can be activated using simple word or phrase prompts such as “Hey Siri!” or “OK Google”. The device’s response actions can range from a simple “mm-hmm?” phrase to “ok, what would you like me to do for you today?”.
The applications are varied. As mentioned above, a user could request the nearest Italian restaurant or discover what movie would be playing soon. A user could even respond to a life-threatening situation using speech recognition to contact emergency services immediately.
As a result of the varied and efficient range of uses available, speech recognition is an important feature when users choose their mobile devices.
ASR is helpful to improve business communication
Speech recognition is increasingly present across many business scenarios today, especially within voice messaging. It supports security efforts, for example, when entry locks to physical office spaces or passwords for company software applications can be voice-activated.
It improves user accessibility when, for example, a visually-impaired app user can access several voice-activated features rather than just the traditional text-based entries.
In a retail or e-commerce environment, innovative database management systems can be tied to speech recognition. This enables users to look at products or features quickly, within an application, simply with their voice. Often, this makes the overall shopping experience pleasant and quick.
Let’s look at this from the customers’ perspective.
Customers expect quick and reliable ways to receive information from their sources. Speech recognition, in this sense, presents a vast range of applicability. For example, suppose a customer uses a login-based software application for their business. In that case, it could be configured to recognise individual users within the industry and open relevant parts of the application accordingly.
This is possible because speech recognition can be programmed to maintain high fidelity (the degree to which a copy shows the true character of the original) and is highly customisable.
Now, let’s look at this from an internal communications perspective. You may be surprised to discover how well speech recognition can be implemented within an organisation for its internal audience.
For example, ASR technology could allow employees to securely log into in-house applications or access their physical office spaces, thereby doing away with clunky keycards or intelligent passes.
Automatic Speech Recognition impacts your customer experience
As media and technology use becomes increasingly widespread and commonplace, speech recognition becomes second nature because of its ease of use.
Speech-activated tasks become more common such as saying, “Hey Siri!” or “OK, Google” when we want to look something up on the web. Within apps like Whatsapp, we may hold down the microphone button to send a quick greeting or a simple “Hey! What’s up?” instead of typing it out.
For example, we may add reminders for groceries to our to-do list apps. We may initiate a call by using a simple term like “Call Jane Doe” or answer calls hands-free by using a word like “Answer”. Overall, the number of applications keeps expanding rapidly, and with every update or improvement to speech recognition, its use and application grow.
Add Automatic Speech Recognition with Soprano
At Soprano, we work on the “recognition” part of the technology. We have incorporated speech in text-to-speech messages and enabled automated passwords to be repeated over secure lines to customers. Across almost all the channels of communication we offer, voice attachments are possible, allowing us to keep accessibility options present consistently.
Our automated voice messaging solution is routinely used across several industries, including finance, government, healthcare, logistics, retail and education.
If you want to find out how to use automated voice messaging to reach, engage and interact with your customers over a landline or mobile phone, grab a time to talk with our experts.