Speech recognition technology has come a long way since its early research days in the 1960s. Dragon Systems became the top speech recognition software company for PCs after the introduction of personal computers. In 1997, they released Dragon Naturally Speaking for Windows, which allowed users to speak at an average pace and intonation.
The combination of Google’s extensive speech data collection and faster processing capabilities revolutionized technology by making speech recognition as accurate as humans. This breakthrough opened the door to many applications, like using voice commands instead of typing and developing virtual agents with conversational AI. These advancements transformed customer service experiences and made speech recognition an essential part of communication today.
One of the most effective uses of speech recognition is replacing typing with talking. Speaking is faster than typing and almost essential for mobile phone use. Siri, Apple’s voice recognition assistant, allows users to text, answer calls, set alarms, and more, using voice commands.
Speech recognition is also vital for conversational AI; which combines speech recognition, natural language processing, understanding, and generation with speech recognition to create realistic and conversational user interactions.
Conversational AI is often used to build virtual agents to replace or assist phone service agents. These virtual agents engage in two-way conversations with callers, providing information, answering queries, and performing tasks without human intervention. In the credit card industry, for instance, virtual agents help customers with various tasks, improving service and reducing costs.
Benefits of Virtual Agents for customers include:
- Fast and convenient service available 24X7. Voice assistants are activated instantly when a call comes in, eliminating the need to wait in queue for an available agent.
- Voice agents can assist multiple customers simultaneously, enabling contact centers to handle more calls
- With AI advancements, voice recognition technology is intuitive, allowing customers to speak naturally in their accents and languages without needing to repeat themselves.
Apart from customer convenience, voice technology benefits businesses financially:
- As cloud-based software, voice assistants have variable consumption costs instead of fixed ones.
- Voice assistants do not require physical space, minimizing infrastructure costs and improving productivity.