Today, we are surrounded by so many incredible discoveries of the world of technology: Smartwatches, Smart TVs, Smartphones, Laptops, Solar-powered cars, Self-driving vehicles, and other technological advancements you thought were impossible. One of these many amazing technological discoveries made in recent years in Voice Technology.
Companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have designed these personal assistants as a way of increasing our productivity level. These voice technologies have slowly made their way into our smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, cars and even our homes.
You may ask why I find Voice Technology interesting, and I will give you the following reasons:
a. It helps me to multitask. Imagine this scenario, I have a couple of tasks to do, one of which involves taking notes or sending emails. In order to maximize my time, I can decide to use Cortana (this is a voice recognition system embedded into Windows 10 which allows you to give voice commands for specific tasks) to type some documents for me while I use the time saved to get some other task done. Now, who wouldn’t want to enjoy this advantage?
b. Driving requires that you use your hands and eyes at the same time. What do you do when you have to make a call using your phone or make use of Google Maps? You can use Apple’s Siri and Google Maps to get to your destination without having to divert your attention.
c. I can ask Alexa to help me print a budget report or my spreadsheet, access my calendar, and/or record the minutes of a meeting. Alexa can also help me carry out other official tasks such as scheduling meetings and/or making travel arrangements. After all, it is my personal assistant.
d. Voice technology is a great tool that can be maximized by individuals with visual impairments who have to rely on on-screen readers and text-to-speech dictation systems.
Now that you know the various reasons why voice technology should be your personal assistant; you should probably know how it works too. Speech is a fundamental human function. Human communication may be difficult because of it. As a way of definition, speech is a series of sound waves created by our vocal cords when they cause the air to vibrate around them. This simply means, when you speak, you create vibrations in the air.
How do computer systems recognize our speech and sounds? Oh well, this is done through signal processing. When you make a sound, the sound waves generated are recorded into a microphone. The generated sound waves are then converted to an electrical signal. Using the amazing improvements in artificial intelligence (speech recognition software), these electrical signals are processed, analyzed, and isolated into syllables.
Although the commands you can give to speech recognition are relatively simple, speech recognition has found a way into our lives. However, you should not cease to remember that as time goes on, researchers and developers will come up with more ways to make voice technology work for us in advanced ways. One day, you will be able to talk to your computer the way you talk to a friend, and it will be able to respond in a similar way.
The most amazing thing about these voice recognition AI-based systems is that everyone can have one.