The computer revolution is now well advanced, but although we see a starting preparation of computer machines in many forms of work people do, the domain of computers is still significantly small because of the specialized training needed to use them and the lack of intelligence in computer systems.
In the history of computer science five generations have passed by, each adding a new innovative technology that brought computers nearer and nearer to the people. Now it is sixth generation, whose prime objective is to make computers more intelligent i.e., to make computer systems that can think as humans.
The fifth generation was aimed at using conventional symbolic Artificial Intelligence techniques to achieve machine intelligence. Thus failed. Statistical modelling and Neural Nets are really sixth generation. The goal of work in Artificial Intelligence is to build the machines that perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence.
True, but speech recognition seeing and walking don’t require “intelligence, but human perceptual ability and motor control. Speech Technology is now one of the major significant scientific research fields under the broad domain of AI; indeed it is a major co-domain of computer science, apart from the traditional linguistics and other disciplines that study the spoken language.
The days when you had to keep staring at the computer screen and frantically hit the key or click the mouse for the computer to respond to your commands may soon be a things of past. Today we can stretch out and relax and tell your computer to do your bidding. This has been made possible by the ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition) technology.
The ASR technology would be particularly welcome by automated telephone exchange operators, doctors and lawyers, besides others whose seek freedom from tiresome conventional computer operations using keyboard and the mouse. It is suitable for applications in which computers are used to provide routine information and services. The ASR’s direct speech to text dictation offers a significant advantage over traditional transcriptions. With further refinement of the technology in text will become a thing of past. ASR offers a solution to this fatigue-causing procedure by converting speech in to text.
The ASR technology is presently capable achieving recognition accuracies of 95% - 98 % but only under ideal conditions. The technology is still far from perfect in the uncontrolled real world. The routes of this technology can be traced to 1968 when the term Information Technology hadn't even been coined. American’s had only begun to realize the vast potential of computers. In the Hollywood blockbuster 2001: a space odyssey.
A talking listening computer HAL-9000, had been featured which to date is a called figure in both science fiction and in the world of computing. Even today almost every speech recognition technologist dreams of designing an HAL-like computer with a clear voice and the ability to understand normal speech. Though the ASR technology is still not as versatile as the imaginer HAL, it can nevertheless be used to make life easier.
New application specific standard products, interactive error-recovery techniques, and better voice activated user interfaces allow the handicapped, computer-illiterate, and rotary dial phone owners to talk to the computers. ASR by offering a natural human interface to computers, finds applications in telephone-call centers, such as for airline flight information system, learning devices, toys, etc..