Talk, Don't Type

by Elisabeth Samuels
July 19, 2016
Humans have been talking for 100,000 years – and now, with the latest developments in machine learning and computing power, machines are smart enough to listen.  Not only can machines recognise speech, they can understand the meaning of it.  We are on the cusp of a profound change in behaviour. 

GreenKey's CEO, Paul Christensen, offers insights into the world of speech recognition and how we are leveraging ASR to digitize voice in the financial markets and to change the way the markets communicate. 

 

Synopsis
The usage of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology has exploded in the last 2 years in the consumer space off the back of billions of dollars of R&D from the tech giants.  There is now a huge opportunity to leverage that technology in a wide range of domain specific applications.  One such domain is the financial markets which largely run on voice communication.  

Speech recognition capabilities have developed exponentially in the past few years.  When Siri was first introduced in 2011, it was a fun piece of technology, but I didn’t know many people who used it for anything other than having a laugh.  In fact, when my 4-year-old son got his hands on my wife’s new phone in 2011, he was fascinated by Siri and of course wanted to have a go speaking into it.  Unfortunately, his mumbled 4-year-old version of ‘What is Siri?’ led to Siri saying, in her clear, bell-like tones, ‘Did you say auto-eroticism?’.  As my wife lunged for the phone, Siri continued, ‘Would you like to do a web-search for auto-eroticism?’.  Needless to say, Siri was quickly deactivated.

ASR technology has improved significantly since then and it is 4x faster than typing.  Two factors are driving this.  Factor one is the vast sum of money being spent on ASR by some of the biggest players in technology: Google, Apple, Amazon, Baidu, Microsoft and IBM.  

Developments include a more sophisticated version of Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, Cortana, Google Now, a voice search function, and smart home devices including Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.  What drives this investment, is factor two: user’s behavior. 

Read the rest of the blog here.

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