Google video walks through where we are with speech recognition, and where we'll go next

Google video walks through where we are with speech recognition, and where we'll go next
Over the past couple of years, we've heard bits and pieces about how Google has been working on speech recognition, and seen how those efforts have become part of the software we love in Google Now, Chrome, and Android. We've heard a bit about the "neural network" that Google created in order to mimic a human brain, and how that led to a breakthrough with speech recognition accuracy. Now, Google wants to walk us through the larger history of speaking to computers.

The new video is titled "Behind the Mic: The Science of Talking with Computers", and it starts with a pretty basic idea: humans are born with the innate ability to communicate in one way or another. The most efficient way we've found so far is speech, but until recently, we've only been able to communicate with computers by "passing notes", which is much more difficult. The video gives a brief history of speech recognition and then puts into stark context where we are today, which is surprisingly rudimentary in the grand scheme. 

Right now, computers and mobile devices are great at transcription, and basic queries/commands. But, Google wants to tackle the next level of speech recognition, which is getting into understanding meaning. This is incredibly difficult, because of the many subtleties of tone, sarcasm, irony, semantics, accents, and even physical cues, like facial expressions. The video goes on to explain in a (relatively) simple way how neural nets work, and how computers are being taught/learning to gather meaning. (The example of Paris - France + Italy = Rome is quite a brilliant moment.) 

Ultimately, the hope is that within 5 years, we'll see huge improvements in speech recognition. So, right now, you can easily ask your phone about places, weather, and more. But, what will be possible in 5 years?

FEATURED VIDEO

11 Comments

1. wilsong17 unregistered

Innovation!! Only if Google made it so we could talk to animals maybe in the future

3. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

I highly doubt that considering most animal brain do not compare to the level of complexity of the human brain and spoken tones can just have really primitive definitions (I'm hungry, I'm angry, I'm horny, I'm happy). So even being able to talk to animals might be boring even if it happens.

4. zacsaturday

Posts: 262; Member since: May 09, 2014

LOLLL

7. aLEN_006

Posts: 5; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Yea, right. Only stupid people can think that is true.

13. xeonfire

Posts: 93; Member since: Feb 15, 2014

That's right! Arrogance and stupidity seems to mix really well.

2. magnanimus

Posts: 565; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

yaaaaay Engineering

5. zacsaturday

Posts: 262; Member since: May 09, 2014

Hopefully you can guide the phone for the ultimate experience. (i'm kinda thinking of the Kinect on the Xbox 360, and possibly the Xbox One, depending on if the interface is basically the same)

8. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

Meanwhile @ apple: how can we grab more money from world population? Their innovations mostly benefit the company but google's benefits humanity and the company itself. I like how they care about humans and company somehow at the same level. Google[X] projects are good example for what I'm saying. On the other hand I don't see apple doing anything for humankind except the investors and themselves. They have the right to do anything with their hard earned money but they won't get my respect the way google and samaung / lg ( to a lesser degree ) have earned it. Kodus to google. The only benefit apple has for humanity is the widespread use of smartphones which goes back a long way in time. After that they just milked us as the reward. However congrats to then for setting another record recently, I hope they use some of this money to increase the quality of life beside quantity of stock shares, again. Tbh I'm losing faith in them. Heck I'm not even sure if they did the smartphone thing for humanity.

10. wilsong17 unregistered

Agree that is why apple won't get my money anytime soon.. I see other company working on the future to help human but other are just milking the money

14. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Now only that but: https://www.google.org/crisisresponse/ I always bring this link up when ppl talk about Google and them going back on their Dont Be Evil mantra...

11. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Google = NSA 2.0.

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