Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Software

Artificial Intelligence

6 Jun 2022
10 Min read

Importance Of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Software

Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) are so common and valuable in today’s society that most people utilize them without even thinking about them. The field of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software is one of the critical areas where these innovative technologies have improved dramatically, almost to the point where they are equal to human abilities.

Defining  Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Software

Automatic Speech Recognition, or ASR for short, is a technique that allows humans to communicate with a computer interface by using their voices. In its most evolved incarnations, ASR resembles typical human speech.

Natural Language Processing, or NLP, is at the heart of the most advanced version of currently available ASR technologies. Though this variation of  Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software is still a long way from reaching its full potential, we already see some impressive outcomes in intelligent, innovative phone interfaces like the Siri program on the iPhone and other systems utilized in business and advanced technological contexts.

Even with an “accuracy” of 96 to 99 percent, these NLP programs can only accomplish these types of results under ideal settings, such as when the queries directed at them by humans are basic yes or no questions with just a limited number of possible responses based on specified keywords.

With the success of Amazon Echo, Google Home, Cortana, Siri, and other voice assistants over the last decade, voice assistants have become ubiquitous. These are only a few of the most well-known applications of ASR technology. This program starts with a sample of vocal audio in a specific language and then references the spoken words as text. As a result, they are referred to as Speech-to-Text algorithms.

Of course, other apps, such as Siri and others, go even further. These apps extract text and interpret the semantic meaning of spoken words, allowing them to respond with replies or perform activities in response to the user’s orders.

Let’s look at how these systems work today, as we’re utilizing them, now that we’ve discussed the exciting prospects of ASR technology.

How Does ASR Work?

Businesses have been motivated to develop virtual relationships with their clients due to advances in AI and the worldwide epidemic. As a result, organizations rely on chatbots, virtual assistants, and other speech technology to manage these interactions effectively. Directed dialogue is still used in simple ASR algorithms today, while higher versions employ the AI subdomain of Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) software is currently divided into a standard hybrid technique and an end-to-end Deep Learning approach.

Traditional Hybrid Approach

The typical hybrid method of speech recognition is a legacy strategy that has dominated the field for the past fifteen years. Despite accuracy plateaus, many companies continue to utilize the old hybrid technique simply because it has always been done. More knowledge about developing a solid model because of the considerable research and training data available.

End-To-End Deep Learning Approach

A fresh way of thinking about ASR and how we approach ASR at the assembly is to take an end-to-end deep learning approach. Using an end-to-end system, you can map a sequence of auditory input properties directly into a series of words. Force-aligning the data isn’t necessary. Depending on the architecture, a deep learning system can be trained to produce correct transcripts without a lexicon model or a language model. In contrast, language models can aid in making more accurate outputs.

Some Key Examples Of Automatic Speech Recognition Variants

Directed dialogue conversations and natural language conversations are the two main categories of Automatic Speech Recognition software versions.

Directed dialogue conversations are a much simpler version of ASR at work. They consist of machine interfaces that direct you to react vocally with a word from a limited selection of options, constructing their response to your tightly specified request. Executed conversation ASR software is extensively used in automated telephone banking and other customer care interfaces.

Natural Language Conversations (the NLP we discussed in the introduction) are more advanced versions of ASR that strive to imitate genuine conversation by allowing you to use an open-ended chat format with them instead of a heavily constrained selection of words. The iPhone’s Siri interface is one of the most advanced instances of these technologies.

Natural Language Processing And Speech Recognition

The merger of linguistics with machine learning is known as natural language processing (NLP). NLP is a machine learning application in which machines “learn” to understand natural language by analyzing millions of datasets. NLP tries to understand human-human and human-computer interactions in the form of language to deliver actionable solutions (voice or text).

Neural Networks can be used to approach the task of automatic voice recognition with respectable performance. The networks began with a limited skill set, and they were primarily used to classify short-term units such as single words and phonemes. Performance has improved as the complexity of neural networks has increased over time, as represented by LSTM networks.

Another significant distinction is between automatic speech recognition and natural language processing (NLP). NLP is focused on “understanding” language to feed following activities, whereas ASR is concerned with turning speech input into text. Because they’re frequently used together and easy to mix up; for example, an intelligent speaker combines Automatic Spoken Recognition (ASR) Software to transform speech commands into a readable format and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to figure out what we’re asking it to do. As a result, NLP places a greater emphasis on meaning than ASR.

Speech Recognition’s Benefits And Drawbacks

The following are some of the benefits of using audio speech recognition software:

  • Human-to-machine communication
  • Easily obtainable
  • Simple to use

While speech recognition technology is helpful, it still has a few shortcomings that need to be addressed. Some limitations are as follows:

  • Unpredictable results
  • Issues with the source file
  • Speed

Applications For Automatic Speech Recognition

Speech recognition systems are helpful in a variety of situations. Listed below are a handful of them.

  • Speech recognition and automatic subtitling
  • Mobile email, as well as mobile telephony
  • Individuals with disabilities
  • Automating your home
  • Assistive technology

How Is ASR Designed To “Learn” From People?

Whether NLP or directed dialogue systems, ASR systems are trained using two main processes. Human “Tuning” is the first and most basic type, while “Active Learning” is the second and more complex variant.

Human Tuning

ASR training can be completed in this manner is a relatively straightforward way. It comprises human programmers going through the conversation logs of a particular ASR software interface for frequently used words that the software interface needed to hear but didn’t have in its pre-programmed vocabulary. These words are then added to the software, allowing it to improve its speech recognition.

Active Learning

Active learning is a more advanced version of ASR tested with NLP versions of voice recognition technology. With active learning, the software is programmed to learn, retain, and adopt new words, allowing it to continually extend its vocabulary as it is exposed to different ways of speaking and saying things.

This, at least in principle, allows the software to pick up on a user’s more specialized speech habits and interact with them more effectively.

So, if a human user consistently rejects autocorrect on a particular word, the NLP software gradually recognizes that person’s unique use of the word as the “correct” form.

ASR Terminology And Features

Acoustic Model: 

The acoustic model analyses audio waveforms to determine whether words are present.

Language Model: 

The language model can be used to guide and correct the predictions of the acoustic model.

Word Error Rate: 

The industry standard for comparing the accuracy of an ASR transcription to human transcription.

Speaker Diarization: 

It provides an answer to the query, “Who spoke when?” Speaker diarization is also known as speaker labeling.

Custom Vocabulary: 

When transcribing an audio recording, bespoke vocabulary, also known as Word Boost, improves accuracy for a list of specific keywords or phrases.

Sentiment Analysis: 

The mood of certain speech portions in an audio or video recording is usually good, harmful, or neutral.


Speech recognition is still in its infancy. It’s one of the various methods for individuals to communicate with computers without typing. Despite its many complexities, challenges, and technicalities, ASR has one clear purpose: to make computers respond to us. We take this quality for granted in one another, but when we stop to consider it, we realize how important it is. As children, we learn by listening to our parents and teachers. Listening to the people we encounter helps us enhance our ideas, and listening to each other helps us maintain great connections.

As the field of ASR develops, we should expect to see more Speech-to-Text technology integrated into our daily lives and more widely used commercial applications. In terms of model development, we hope to see a change to a self-supervised learning system to address some of the accuracy issues mentioned earlier.

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