The History of Speech Recognition

Contrary to perceptions, speech recognition is not a recent development. Scientists have been trying to enable machines to interact with humans since 1773. Cloud computing coupled with the humongous amount of data allowed us to get closer to success, but perfection might be years away.

BBC recently published an article titled The Machine That Learned to Listen in which the author says:

Voice recognition technology makes many aspects of modern life easier. The seeds were sown a lot further back than you might think.

Russian scientist Christian Kratzenstein made the first attempt by building a device that could produce vowel-like sounds. Subsequent attempts were made the world over by scientists to develop machines that could understand and imitate human speech. Bell Labs, IBM, and DARPA made significant contributions in the later part of the 21st century. The real breakthrough came only with Google Voice in 2010. Since then in a matter of seven years, speech recognition and imitation has come a long way but is still short of perfection.

Vishol Ingole, May 1, 2017