Microsoft AI Beats Humans at Speech Recognition

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Microsoft AI Beats Humans at Speech Recognition

Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence and Research Unit reported earlier this week that its speech recognition technology had surpassed the performance of human transcriptionists. The team published a paper last month describing its system's accuracy. It was said to be superior to that of IBM's famed Watson artificial intelligence.  

The error rate for humans on the widely used NIST 2000 test set is 5.9 percent for the Switchboard portion of the data, and 11.3 percent for the CallHome portion, the team said. The team improved on the conversational recognition system that outperformed IBM's by about 0.4 percent.

While speech recognition provides an easier way for humans to interact with technology, "it won't see adoption until it has extremely low error rates," said Anne Moxie, senior analyst at Nucleus Research. Google, IBM and Microsoft are among the companies working on speech recognition systems, but it seems Microsoft is the closest to overcoming the error rate issue, Moxie said. "Therefore, its technology is the one that is most likely to see adoption."


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