It’s no secret that Microsoft is betting big on speech recognition. You only have to look at Cortana to see how the company has pushed both its own boundaries and the industry as a whole.
Microsoft say they are working on a major breakthrough to bring proper computer speech recognition to the masses. A new ‘conversational speech recognition system’ could be closer than ever and will help computers to understand the melting pot that is human language.
According to reports, Microsoft has stepped in front in the race for supremacy in speech recognition. The company has claimed a significant test result in their quest for machines to understand speech. A benchmark evaluation shows the Redmond giant’s speech recognition has their lowest error rate to date.
When compared to the rest of the industry, Microsoft’s speech recognition also comes out ahead. The system achieved an error rate of 6.9% on a leading AI intelligence test, the best performance in its section. Furthermore, the system was able to score 6.3% with the help of “an ensemble of acoustic models.”
Twenty years ago, the lowest error rate was 43%.
Richard Eckel (@reckel) posted a piece about it, too, on the Microsoft site. The posting noted some features of their efforts. Earlier this year, Microsoft researchers won a computer vision challenge by using “a deep residual neural net system that utilized a new kind of cross-layer network connection.”
It also said that “Another critical component to Microsoft researchers’ recent success is the Computational Network Toolkit. CNTK implements sophisticated optimizations that enable deep learning algorithms to run an order of magnitude faster than before. A key step forward was a breakthrough for parallel training on graphics processing units, or GPUs.”
(GPUs are known for computer graphics, but researchers find they are also very good for processing complex algorithms such as the ones used to understand speech, the posting said.)
The tests mark a noteworthy milestone for Microsoft’s overall quest to deliver intelligent AI solutions. The company has stated time and time again that it plans to lead the machine learning, artificial technology, and speech recognition industries, and this puts them one step closer.
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It may not be long before computers can understand the words users are saying as well as humans, leading to a revolution in the computing industry. As Nadella has said previously, the shift could have the same impact as the invention of the GUI, or even the web itself.
Using these new finding could prove to be a major upgrade for those currently using Windows 10.
Source : Microsoft