Predictive speech technology around the corner?

As a lot of our technology seems to be tending towards voice recognition, new software is being developed that aims to finish your sentences for you, much in the same way that many text-based programs currently do.  Speech recognition software still has its limitations, but you may be giving half-uttered commands to your mobile phone or computer any day now.

It’s been dreamed up as a speech-recognition equivalent to the predictive text on cellphones. Mutter a half-considered thought into the microphone and the software will plunder a database to complete half-formed words or sentences – in Japanese, at least.

The system looks for fragments of words and other signs of hesitation such as filler sounds that Japanese speakers use when searching for their next phrase, just as English speakers “um” and “er”.

It can work backwards too. If you’re using the voice-controlled jukebox made to demo the idea and ask for a song by “someone, er, Jackson” it will offer up Michael, Janet, and even Joe.

You can imagine how that could be useful for requesting songs from a car’s stereo while driving, or requesting a new location from a GPS device.

via the Innovation column from New Scientist.

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