The Problems With Speech Recognition Software

Software 17 Aug 2013
The Problems With Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. Speech recognition systems use “speaker independent speech recognition”. The software works by recognizing sound patterns that an individual will produce, and then associates each pattern with a specific entry in its database.

Voice-Recognition Software

Voice recognition software programs work by analyzing sounds and converting the sound into text form. The software also uses an understanding of how the language is usually spoken, which helps it decide what the user has most probably said. The system is capable of recognizing around 95% of what is said if spoken clearly. Speech recognition software has seen great advancement since it was first invented, but it still faces several problems that restrict it from being used exclusively as a method of transcription.

Some of the problems of speech recognition are difficult to solve. These problems include variations in the pronunciation of words, unwanted ambient noises, homonyms and individual accents. This software also faces other problems with the type of hardware used to input the sound, as its results can have a huge impact in how the software will interpret the speech.

Limitations of speech recognition software

There are many issues with speech recognition software for users with particular needs or who have specific ways of working.

The software runs too slowly

Speech recognition systems would need a computing system which uses modern technology with a lot of memory. People working with large applications and other business users will benefit from having additional space. Most people can’t type as fast as they speak, and this should make voice recognition software faster than typing something into the device. This may not be the case all the time as the corrections and the proofreading required after dictating a document would take up time.

Poor recognition

The software may not recognize proper nouns, such as uncommon surnames or brand names until they are added to the program’s word library. There can also be a problem when the device is not getting sufficient signal from the microphone or if the user is not clear enough. However, the users who have unusual accents may not be able to make full use of the voice recognition programs.

Difficulty spotting mistakes in work

This particular problem is for those with speech ailments such as dyslexia. Such users should choose a package which would include a text-to-speech system personalized for the user.

Vocal Strain

By using speech recognition software, a user might have to speak louder than usual. There is however no definite scientific connection vested between the use of speech recognition software and damage to the voice. Talking loudly for long periods of time will always carries the possibility of hoarseness and straining of the voice.

Environmental Factors

A quiet environment is the ideal one for using voice recognition programs, especially if the user does not own a microphone that filters surrounding noises. Voice recognition software may be unable to distinguish voices in a loud environment, and might even use the background sounds to generate text which will confuse the user.

How to use the software efficiently

This software is highly beneficial to those with limited mobility problems which make it difficult to use a keyboard and mouse.

  • Good In-Built Microphone
  • Proper Network Coverage
  • Fluent Reading
  • Modern and Robust Sound Card
  • Back-up Voice Files

Even the best voice recognition software systems will sometimes make blunders. Unnecessary sounds and other background noises which might even be the noise of kettle boiling, will contribute to the number of errors. The software will work more efficiently if the microphone is closer to the speaker. A microphone that is more distant will tend to increase the number of mistakes. Some of the similar sounding words such as two, to and too will be bound to mix up a sentence or two.

This advancement of technology will be extremely beneficial to users for numerous reasons, and it is important to note that the use mechanical human-voice interpretation in enterprises would be a huge risk, and in fact, for many important tasks, this would be disastrous.

Speech Recognition Disaster

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