When Will Speech-Recognition Software Finally Be Good Enough?

Scientific American May 2020

Think how much time we’d save if voice assistants always understood commands or questions the first time

Back in 2010 Matt Thompson, then with National Public Radio, forecast in an op-ed that “at some point in the near future, automatic speech transcription will become fast, free, and decent.” He called that moment the “Speakularity,” in a sly reference to inventor Ray Kurzweil’s vision of the “singularity,” in which our minds will be uploaded into computers. And Thompson predicted that access to reliable automatic speech-recognition (ASR) software would transform the work of journalists—to say nothing of lawyers, marketers, people with hearing disabilities, and everyone else who deals in both spoken and written language.

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