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Voice Recognition: Find out how it fits into your routine!

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voice recognition

In past decades, spy movies took over cinemas all over the world. In these stories, the agents used technological devices that challenged creativity: pens with bombs, watches with cameras and even a car driven by voice controls. 

What seemed like a distant reality is now part of our daily lives. Voice recognition is one of the technologies that have entered homes through virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri.

But do you know how voice recognition works? In this article we'll explain what voice recognition technology is, how it works and how you can use it in your daily life. Shall we get started?

What is Voice Recognition?

Voice recognition, or speech recognition - Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) - is a technology developed to process what a person says and transform the content into text, thus incorporating elements of artificial intelligence (AI).

This is necessary because the machine is not capable of recognizing speech sounds alone. The system needs to capture the audio, analyze the content and form a hypothesis of what the user is saying, using advanced AI algorithms. It then transcribes the words and executes the command.

The aim of this feature is precisely to make voice commands possible, now enhanced by AI. So, through the voice recognition feature, a person can use virtual assistants to turn on the lights in the house, play a song or do a search.

How Voice Recognition Works

Human speech has a number of variables. Some people speak louder, others quieter, some voices are lower, others higher. In addition, the way words are enunciated, the accent, also creates further variations. Consequently, you need a tool that is able to capture the words even with all these nuances.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the AI model that is capable of analyzing audio part by part, processing each one and transforming the content into text. 

And perhaps you've already seen natural language processing in action. When setting up Siri, an iPhone user has to speak a series of phrases. This process is done to teach the system what that user's voice pattern is like and to map some of the nuances described above.

However, sometimes the machine will have problems understanding the command. Changes in the user's tone of voice, for example, can create obstacles and make the voice recognition process more challenging. 

One example was the viral video of a Scottish girl. When she tried to ask the virtual assistant at her home for something, she wasn't answered because the system didn't recognize the words. The reason? The girl's distinctive Scottish accent. 

So, in the development of voice recognition, there are still obstacles that need to be overcome.

How to Use Voice Recognition

Voice Recognition: an image of a black woman, wearing a white tank top, drinking coffee and using voice recognition on her cell phone.

The applications of voice recognition models are varied and some deserve special mention for their ability to help solve important problems. Below are some of the applications. 

Virtual Assistants 

Whether it's Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri, virtual assistants have gained more popularity recently due to their ability to carry out commands in the home. 

Research published in 2022 by Ilumeo Data Science Companyshowed that from 2020 to 2022 the number of people using a virtual assistant on their smartphone grew from 87% to 91%.

The recurrence of this use has also increased! In 2020, 18% of users activated their virtual assistant on a daily basis, and in 2022 this figure rose to 25%. 

This technology, when applied in domestic environments, has advantages such as giving disabled users more autonomy. People with reduced mobility can turn off the lights without having to go to the switch, and this is excellent.

Security 

Voice recognition has also added a new layer of security for cell phone and computer users, for example.

According to the Brazilian Public Security Yearbook 2023, a survey by the Brazilian Public Security Forum (FBSP), the number of scams reached more than 1.8 million cases, 326% more than in 2018. This means that every minute, 3.5 people fall victim to a scam.

Faced with this growing danger, some companies are already betting on voice recognition as a way of offering more security to their customers. 

Banks are recording their customers' voice patterns, creating what we call a spectrogram. This way, when someone tries to impersonate the customer, they can recognize the fraud immediately. 

Medical treatments

Emergency doctors see critically ill patients in hospital every day. The priority is to treat the patient when they need it, to preserve life. But at the same time, it's important to record everything that happened and what the team did in the medical records. 

To help with both tasks, voice recognition has become a way to help doctors and nurses make medical records quickly. Instead of sitting down and typing, health workers can dictate everything at the same time as they are with the patient. 

The aim of this technology is to prevent details from being lost, especially those that could have an impact on the patient's development later on. 

Conclusion

Voice recognition is indeed a promising technology! 

In this article, you learned what voice recognition is, how it works in everyday life and what applications already exist. However, there are several others currently in development and we're sure to see more innovations soon. 

To make sure you don't miss out on the latest developments in voice recognition and other AI models, follow the Pareto blog! Every week we'll bring you more information about the world of AI and the latest developments on the market.

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