What is Voice Recognition?

By: Danielle Chazen
voice recognition

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Voice recognition technology identifies a speaker and authenticates that he or she is indeed that individual. Unlike speech recognition, which identifies the words spoken, voice recognition analyzes countless patterns and elements that distinguish one person’s voice from another. Voice recognition is now being used in every facet of our lives, personally and professionally.

How Is Voice Recognition Used in Everyday Life?

Voice recognition products are quickly becoming part of everyday life. For example, Google’s smart home kit allows you to set your devices to begin working before you even get home. You can turn on the lights and heat, unlock your door, and monitor your spaces seamlessly and remotely.

Speech recognition identifies the words you use. You can search for a video on YouTube without typing or turn on a smart TV without clicking a button. Voice recognition takes it one step further, ensuring that only your voice can unlock your home. The technology identifies your specific voice and you rely on its ability to do so to keep you safe.

Voice-enabled devices also recognize specific voices within a home. These recognition abilities prevent your kids from using devices to shop without your permission. They also help to differentiate from family members who are scheduling appointments with connected devices.  

Automatic Voice Recognition Is Empowering Students

In addition to its capabilities in the home, voice recognition is empowering universities to aid students with disabilities. Smart classrooms are now implementing advanced technologies like voice-activated academic transcription software.

When campuses transcribe their classes, deaf and hard of hearing students gain access to educational opportunities that they couldn’t access previously. AI-based transcription software makes it easy for them to differentiate between when a university professor is speaking and when its a peer speaking or asking a question when listening to recorded lectures for example.

Voice recognition tools also empower the higher education industry with the ability to use voice dictation systems when written papers are required to be submitted. Whether a student is blind, suffering from an injury or simply doesn’t perform well in certain aspects of academia, he or she can greatly benefit from the many uses that voice recognition tools provide. 

How Voice Recognition Tools Improve the Justice System

When it comes to legal proceedings, such as court hearings and depositions, where many people are involved, recording and transcribing the process is often necessary. The industry is experiencing a shortage of stenographers and therefore turning to voice-activated legal transcription software.

While AI transcription products help court reporting agencies train the software to recognize industry terms, automatic voice recognition engines can distinguish between the many speakers present in the same room and account for common interruptions. As the technology grows more sophisticated, court reporting agencies are able to leverage software to produce 99% accurate transcriptions.

How Voice Recognition Products Keep Us Safe

In addition to recognizing a consumer’s specific voice to unlock his door, some banks are now allowing access to accounts via voice recognition instead of passwords. Voices are comprised of countless elements that make them unique. Therefore, it is much easier to hack an account by uncovering someone’s password, and much more challenging to hack when voice recognition is implemented.

Voice recognition software programs are also supporting law enforcement in the field. When officers are solving crimes, documenting everything that happens can make or break a case. With no need to stop and jot notes down, officers can perform their jobs more efficiently. Officers can dictate notes to their devices and get these notes transcribed.

When multiple officers use the same voice dictation system, or when they operate in busy environments with a lot of noise, automatic voice recognition is critical in order to know which officer saw or did what on the scene.

Future Uses of Voice Recognition Technology

Voice recognition will continue to impact our future. As more voice recognition software programs are developed, we’re likely to see an increase in voice-enabled devices and third-party applications to enhance our usage.

Voice profiles will also grow more sophisticated, leading to more personalized experiences that encourage deeper adoption. Voice ads will be more personalized too and making purchases online will be easier and more secure when voice recognition could become a requirement for payment. As technology identifies voices, their tones, and their contexts more clearly, criminal acts and legal procedures will grow more transparent and higher education will become more personalized and accessible. As voice recognition usage increases, it will no longer be a question of who uses voice recognition software, but who doesn’t.