"Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is one of the fastest growing and commercially most promising applications of natural language technology. Speech is the most natural communicative medium for humans in many situations, including applications such as giving dictation; querying database or information-retrieval systems; or generally giving commands to a computer or other device, especially in environments where keyboard input is awkward or impossible (for example, because one's hands are required for other tasks)."
– from Linguistic Knowledge and Empirical Methods in Speech Recognition. By Andreas Stolcke. (1997). AI Magazine 18 (4): 25-32.
I've spent a lot of time over the last year or so with Google's AIY Projects Voice Kit, including some time investigating how well TensorFlow ran locally on the Raspberry Pi attempting to use models based around the initial data release of Google's Open Speech Recording to customise the offline "wake word" for my voice-controlled Magic Mirror. Back at the start of last year this was a hard thing to do, it was really pushing the Raspberry Pi to its limits. However as machine learning software, such as TensorFlow Lite and other tools, have matured we've seen models being run successfully on much more minimal hardware. With the privacy concerns raised by cloud connected voice devices, as well as the sometime inconvenient need for a network connection, it's inevitable that we'll start to see more offline devices. While we've seen a number of "wake word" engines--a piece of code and a trained network that monitors for the special word like "Alexa" or "OK Google" that activates your voice assistant --these, like pretty much all modern voice recognition engines, need training data and the availability of that sort of data has really held smaller players.
Clinc, a four-year-old conversational AI startup, is teaming up with Ford to power voice recognition in the Detroit automaker's cars. The two companies announced the collaboration today during the Detroit Auto Show, at a panel hosted by Inforum about machine learning and the future of in-vehicle technology. According to Clinc CEO Dr. Jason Mars, the Ann Arbor company's automotive platform, which was announced in September 2018, is enabling drivers and passengers to control vehicle systems using natural language in Ford's connected car lab. They can make verbal requests to turn up the air conditioning, adjust cruise control, and check fuel mileage, or ask if there's enough gas for a trip to a specific address. "What we found in our collaboration with Ford is that when you bring in a conversational experience that allows you to talk to your car naturally, it improves the lives of people driving those cars," Mars said.
About This Game ABOUT THE GAME while True: learn() is a puzzle/simulation game about even more puzzling stuff: machine learning, neural networks, big data and AI. In this game, you play as a coder who accidentally found out that their cat is extremely good at coding, but not as good at speaking human language. Now this coder (it's you!) must learn all there is to know about machine learning and use visual programming to build a cat-to-human speech recognition system. Learn how machine learning works in real life The game is loosely based on real-life machine learning technologies: from goofy Expert Systems to mighty Recurrent Neural Networks, capable of predicting the future. Don't worry: it all plays out as a puzzle game.
This article is part of Demystifying AI, a series of posts that (try to) disambiguate the jargon and myths surrounding AI. Since Amazon Echo shipped in late 2014, smart speakers and voice assistants have been advertised as the next big thing. Nearly four years later, despite the millions of devices sold, it's clear that like many other visions of the tech industry, that perception was an overstatement. Testament to the fact: Most people aren't using Alexa to make purchases, one of the main advertised use cases of Amazon's AI-powered voice assistant. Voice assistants have existed before the Echo.
Microsoft is splitting up search and voice assistant Cortana in Windows 10, giving each their own spot on the taskbar in the latest build for Windows Insiders testers. The change should go live for everyone in the next major update to Windows 10, which is planned for April. The move, according to Microsoft, should improve both functions as it "will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases." The search box will be solely for text queries, while Cortana will of course handle voice queries. Microsoft has placed more focus on improving search lately.
Artificial intelligence continues to be increasingly used throughout the general public and businesses to enhance consumer experiences. Research from Gartner predicts AI will generate a business value of $2.9 trillion by 2022. It's making doing business easier because it offers entrepreneurs several benefits that can help them grow their businesses. Being able to run your business efficiently is essential to maximizing your resources. It also helps you save time and money for your business in the long run.
A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Can you fix voice recognition in new cars? After years of designing their own often-faulty voice recognition systems, auto companies are handing the reins over to tech giants that have already developed the technology for their devices. The trend is on full display at the 2019 Detroit auto show, where automakers are showcasing new vehicles with increasingly common systems that allow drivers to plug in their phones and bypass built-in infotainment systems. Using spoken commands to tune the radio, make a call or get directions has required patience, awkward pronunciation and frequent do-overs ever since it became possible in some vehicles earlier this century.
At last week's CES (Consumer Electronics Show), the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Centre were teeming with talking robots of all shapes and sizes. There were robots that clean, from ForwardX's autonomous lawnmower and Samsung's Bot Air that travels around a home purifying air to the self-deodorising LavvieBot, a self-cleaning litter box for cats. For dog-lovers, Sony's Aibo robot canine made a return to the annual Las Vegas event. For travellers, the useful Rover Speed and Ovis were on display; both are autonomous robot cases that follow their owners around an airport. Or you could choose to just dump your bags on the back of LG's Cloi CartBot, one of a suite of helpful robots that autonomously navigate, and come equipped with touch displays and voice recognition.
Looking over the year that has passed, it is a nice question whether human stupidity or artificial intelligence has done more to shape events. Perhaps it is the convergence of the two that we really need to fear. Artificial intelligence is a term whose meaning constantly recedes. Computers, it turns out, can do things that only the cleverest humans once could. But at the same time they fail at tasks that even the stupidest humans accomplish without conscious difficulty.
On paper, Google has all the ingredients to deliver a killer streaming TV player. It has a powerful software platform in Android, a first-rate voice assistant in Google Assistant, and a knack for designing slick software and hardware. What we've ended up with instead is Android TV, a platform that's gotten some traction on smart TVs and cable boxes, but hasn't been a hit on standalone streaming players. Devices like the Nvidia Shield TV and the Xiaomi Mi Box S offer some niche appeal, and Android TV has always offered some interesting ideas, but it's never met its potential as Google put more energy into Chromecast as a consumer streaming option. This will change in 2019, says Shalini Govil-Pai, Google's senior director of product management for Android TV.