Speech Recognition

Microsoft 365 gains smart video conferencing with automatic speech-to-text transcription


Microsoft 365, Redmond's complete software suite for enterprises and education, now supports live video conferencing augmented with facial reignition and autonomous speech-to-text transcription features. The new video conferencing feature allows users to set up either live or on-demand streams of events within the cloud-powered Microsoft 365. Facial recognition automatically detects who in a group video conference is chatting and allows watchers to jump to a specific speaker, while automated speech-to-text transcription provides transcripts and timecodes to the conference which Microsoft 356 users can then use to search for specific quotes or parts of a video conference. "Events can be as simple or as sophisticated as you prefer. You can use webcams, content, and screen sharing for informal presentations, or stream a studio-quality production for more formal events," explained Ron Markezich, corporate vice president at Microsoft.

Building a Speech To Text Artificial Intelligence app in C# and Azure


Speech recognition is a standard for modern apps. Users expect to be able to speak, be understood, and be spoken to. The Microsoft Cognitive Services – Speech API allows you to easily add real-time speech recognition to your app, so it can recognize audio coming from multiple sources and convert it to text, the app understands. In this tutorial, I would walk you through the steps for creating your first Speech-to-Text artificial intelligence in a simple C# console application using the Microsoft Bing Speech Cognitive API. Step 1: Login to Azure (If you do not have any subscription already then create one, else login to your existing account).

H & M's magic mirror puts your face on a magazine cover


If you happen to take a stroll through building 1472 Broadway, New York, you might stumble across your reflection in a mirror. Given the fact that this is H & M's flagship store in Times Square, this hardly seems like an incident worth describing. For starters, you can talk to it – and it'll talk back. Ask it to take a selfie, for example, and it will happily oblige, capturing your graceful pose before immortalizing your beauty on the front cover of a virtual fashion magazine. You can, of course, choose to share your new-found modelling profession with the world, by sending your personalized cover out across social media.

Google's Controversial Voice Assistant Could Talk Its Way Into Call Centers


At a developer conference in May, Google CEO Sundar Pichai demonstrated how a cutting-edge, computer-generated voice assistant called Duplex could call up a restaurant or hair salon and make an appointment without the person on the other end ever realizing they were talking with a robot. The technology was as controversial as it was impressive, drawing sharp criticism from people concerned about its ethical implications. What Mr. Pichai didn't mention is that the technology could be more than just a nifty trick to help users save a bit of time on reservations. Some big companies are in the very early stages of testing Google's technology for use in other applications, such as call centers, where it might be able to replace some of the work currently done by humans, according to a person familiar with the plans.

SCDF turns to artificial intelligence to help emergency call dispatchers


SINGAPORE -With Singapore's emergency dispatch phone operators receiving almost 200,000 calls for assistance a year, every minute is vital. In an effort to ease their workload, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and four other Government agencies are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and have developed a speech recognition system that can transcribe and log each call received in real time - even if it is in Singlish. For now the system is programmed to recognise English and Mandarin with some Hokkien and Malay, though it could be customised to incorporate others. AI Singapore (AISG), a programme under the National Research Foundation, is investing $1.25 million to set up the AI Speech Lab which developed the system. The lab claims to have created the first code-switch - or mixed-lingual - speech recognition engine.

Baidu provides tools to make AI app development easy for non-coders


Baidu has updated its AI platform to make its tools, including facial recognition and natural language processing, more accessible to developers as part of a series of launches announced at its Create 2018 developer conference in Beijing, SiliconANGLE reports. Developers and individuals without coding skills can use APIs from the new Baidu Brain 3.0 platform to drag-and-drop elements to build applications using 110 AI capabilities, according to DIGITIMES. "The demand for AI and machine learning is increasing rapidly, but the lack of infrastructure and technology know-how is preventing smaller businesses from adopting AI," said Baidu Artificial Intelligence Group Head and Senior Vice President Haifeng Wang. "By opening up our resources in algorithms, computing and big data, Baidu is gradually breaking this barrier down to allow everyone to access AI in the most convenient and equitable way." Baidu is also launching a pair of chips, which it says are the first cloud-to-edge AI chips developed in China, to support intensive workloads like AI voice recognition applications.

Foreign English Accent Adjustment by Learning Phonetic Patterns

arXiv.org Machine Learning

State-of-the-art automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems struggle with the lack of data for rare accents. For sufficiently large datasets, neural engines tend to outshine statistical models in most natural language processing problems. However, a speech accent remains a challenge for both approaches. Phonologists manually create general rules describing a speaker's accent, but their results remain underutilized. In this paper, we propose a model that automatically retrieves phonological generalizations from a small dataset. This method leverages the difference in pronunciation between a particular dialect and General American English (GAE) and creates new accented samples of words. The proposed model is able to learn all generalizations that previously were manually obtained by phonologists. We use this statistical method to generate a million phonological variations of words from the CMU Pronouncing Dictionary and train a sequence-to-sequence RNN to recognize accented words with 59% accuracy.

Startup using AI to make sense of drive-thru orders


The poor quality of drive-thru ordering may be an old joke (and a staple of comedy movies), but it's also a problem that could benefit from a high-tech overhaul. Machine learning and voice recognition can ease the many pain points of this encounter, contends Denver technology entrepreneur Rob Carpenter, the CEO of Valyant AI. Carpenter's company has developed an artificial intelligence platform that automates fast-food customer service, order-ahead, drive-thru and in-store sales, with technology in development to integrate more directly with point of sale systems. Valyant AI was a recent finalist at a developer program at Visa, and is reportedly in discussions with McDonald's, Walmart and advisors from Yum Brands. Carpenter did not identify his clients, saying the first deployment would come in about four weeks.

Voice assistants gain ground as many Americans talking to their devices: A Foolish Take


Amazon has a new version of Alexa for hotels. Voice assistants such as Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) Siri, Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google Assistant and Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Alexa have integrated themselves into our digital lives. Almost half of American adults used voice assistants last year, according to Pew Research. Earlier this year, PwC reported that U.S. internet users who spoke to their devices interacted with smartphones most frequently. However, users are also talking to their tablets, PCs and smart speakers.

Google's Artificial Intelligence voice assistant 'Duplex' to run a call centre? - The Financial Express


Google's voice-calling "Duplex"- which lets Artificial Intelligence (AI) mimic a human voice to make appointments and book tables through phone calls- may soon enter call centres assisting humans with customer queries. According to a report in The Information late on Thursday, an unnamed insurance company has shown interest in "Duplex" which could "handle simple and repetitive customer calls" before taking help from a human if the conversation gets complicated. Google, however, said in a statement that the company is not testing "Duplex" with any enterprise clients. "We're currently focused on consumer use cases for the'Duplex' technology and we aren't testing'Duplex' with any enterprise clients," a Google spokesperson told Engadget in a statement. "'Duplex is designed to operate in very specific use cases, and currently we're focused on testing with restaurant reservations, hair salon booking and holiday hours with a limited set of trusted testers," the company added.