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Microsoft are speech recognition kings - but is it good enough?

Microsoft has taken the lead in the speech recognition arms race, but it's still got a long way to go.

20 years ago, a computer understanding 2 in every 3 words was considered impressive. These days we have phones that can understand voice commands, but even modern systems with state-of-the-art neural networks still miss about one in ten words.

if I missed that many, I'd be getting my ears checked.

Either way, I think it's exciting to see steady progress in this field and watching it trickle down to consumer products. It seems we'll be seeing more of speech recognition in years to come. Watch this space!

A team of Microsoft researchers has achieved the lowest error rate for speech recognition on record at 6.3%, overtaking prior record holder IBM Watson’s 6.9%. [...] Speech recognition needs to reach roughly 99% (it's at approximately 90% now) in order for voice to become the most efficient form of computing input, according to Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker.

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