Posts Tagged ‘voice recognition’

How To Really Hear The Voice of the Customer


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There’s a whole lot of customer information out there, including the verbatim comments companies record as part of customer call center surveys or other voice-based interactions. At Verizon Wireless, for example, more than 190 million customers call in daily, weekly and monthly, and sound bites from them during after-call surveys, each a few seconds long, added up to about a ton of data that wasn’t being factored into its customer analytics efforts.

“We had the information, the WAV files, but we couldn’t analyze them with the same lens and same tools” Verizon was bringing to the text – emails, social media, surveys, and so on – commentary from its customers, according to Lorraine Schumacher, Director of Operations Customer Business Intelligence at Verizon, during a recent webinar hosted by customer experience management vendor Clarabridge. Verizon had been using Clarabridge’s technology to monitor its various listening posts to drive strategic business decisions based on analyzing text and sentiment in social media and other sources.

Now, it saw an opportunity to transcribe its WAV files of direct customer feedback so that the information in them could be processed and analyzed to support those same ends. Speech recognition and analytics vendor Voci Technologies partnered with Clarabridge to support those goals.

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Apple’s Siri to Incorporate Neural Network?

Siri LogoWired’s Robert McMillan recently wrote, “…neural network algorithms are hitting the mainstream, making computers smarter in new and exciting ways. Google has used them to beef up Android’s voice recognition. IBM uses them. And, most remarkably, Microsoft uses neural networks as part of the Star-Trek-like Skype Translate, which translates what you say into another language almost instantly. People “were very skeptical at first,” Hinton says, “but our approach has now taken over.” One big-name company, however, hasn’t made the jump: Apple, whose Siri software is due for an upgrade. Though Apple is famously secretive about its internal operations–and did not provide comment for this article–it seems that the company previously licensed voice recognition technology from Nuance—perhaps the best known speech recognition vendor. But those in the tight-knit community of artificial intelligence researchers believe this is about to change. It’s clear, they say, that Apple has formed its own speech recognition team and that a neural-net-boosted Siri is on the way.”

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Nuance on the Future of Natural Language Processing


Gopal Sathe of NDTV Gadgets recently wrote, “We caught up with Sunny Rao, the MD of Nuance Communications India and South East Asia, and chatted about the developments in speech recognition, frustrations with using speech-to-text software and how the way we interact with our devices is about to change forever. Rao speaks like a person who has been talking to machines for a long time – his speech is clear, and there’s a small space around each word for maximum clarity. Over tea, we’re able to discuss how voice recognition is being used around the world, and how he sees the future of the technology shaping up. And naturally, we talked about the movie Her.” Read more

Facebook Acquires Speech Recognition Vendor Mobile Technologies

Facebook is acquiring Mobile Technologies, according to Tom Stocky, Facebook director, product management.

In a post here, Stocky announced the deal that would bring to Facebook “a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology….

It has always been our mission to make the world more open and connected. Although more than a billion people around the world already use Facebook every month, we are always looking for ways to help connect the rest of the world as well. Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution. We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company’s mission.”

Mobile Technologies is the developer of Jibbigo, what it credits as “the world’s first speech-to-speech translator on a phone that runs online and even off-line, independent from the Internet.” The program, which comes in both iOS and Android versions, works by having a user hold down the record button while saying a phrase, which then appears as text in both languages, and is spoken aloud in the target language, according to Wikipedia.

The company also says it developed and deployed the first automatic, simultaneous interpretation service for lectures for use in educational settings.

A post on the company’s website notes that the Facebook acquisition provides the opportunity to apply its “technology at a truly global scale,” and that it looks forward to “finding new and interesting ways to apply it to Facebook’s long-term product roadmap.”

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New On The Speech Recognition Scene: Droids With NLP Processors And More

There are new Motorola Droid devices in town: The three Verizon Android 4.2 smartphones unveiled at a press event yesterday include the Motorola Droid Mini, Ultra and Maxx. The line includes what the company touts as the longest-lasting 4G LTE smartphone in the Maxx, with the vendor claiming 48 hours on a single charge, and what it says is the thinnest 4G LTE smartphone around in the Ultra. The smartphones reportedly all come with a unique Kevlar fiber 3D unibody design and a few months’ free Google Music All Access subscription, too. But what will catch the eyes of readers of this blog is the proprietary Motorola X8 Mobile Computing System that’s behind the sleek-looking handsets.

In addition to the graphics and application processor cores found within the eight-core System are two new low-power cores, one to power contextual computing and one aimed at natural language processing. Read more

Vertical Search Works Launches VS4Food

Vertical Search Works has launched VS4Food, “a mobile, vertical search engine for all things food related.  Users enter a search query and generate results specific to food, food products, recipes, restaurants and specialty food retailers.  Searches can be launched by voice activation or through the phone’s touch screen or keyboard.” Read more

Apple and Siri to Change the Way We Interact with Devices

A new article reports, “Perhaps the biggest announcement at Apple’s iPhone event (about one hour from this posting) will be Assistant, Apple’s evolution of the Siri Personal Assistant Software. Siri, you’ll remember, is the company Apple picked up for a rumored $200 million in April of last year for, in Steve Jobs’ words, its “Artificial Intelligence”, not search or speech recognition.”

Before Apple bought the company, Siri described itself as a Virtual Personal Assistant Read more

iPhone 4s or iPhone 5. Whatever it’s called, does it mark the return of Siri?

A few short years ago, a group of semantic technology companies rode a wave of venture capital and inflated expectation. They were going to change the world. They were going to bring semantic technologies to the mainstream. They were going to make people very rich. They were the must-have keynotes of the conference circuit. And then, one by one, they disappeared. Powerset vanished inside Microsoft, to do something for Bing. Twine vanished inside Evri, amid rumours of a fire sale and investors covering their backs. Freebase vanished inside Google, and bits of Freebase DNA routinely pop up across Google’s sprawling empire. And Siri vanished inside Apple, as we scrambled to understand whether the Cupertino money machine was after semantic smarts or ‘just’ speech recognition technology. Now, though, the rumours suggest that Siri may be back, and that it’s going to be the thing that makes the next iPhone a compelling buy. Read more

Context + Semantics + Phones = Consumer-Oriented Semantic Applications

When most people think about "semantic" or "Semantic Web"-based software, they tend to think about applications that are quite explicit about their use of RDF, SKOS and OWL. While these types of applications are clearly becoming more popular, the vast majority of people have no clue why they should care about such things.

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Context + Semantics + Phones = Consumer-Oriented Semantic Applications

When most people think about "semantic" or "Semantic Web"-based software, they tend to think about applications that are quite explicit about their use of RDF, SKOS and OWL. While these types of applications are clearly becoming more popular, the vast majority of people have no clue why they should care about such things.

Read more