After listening to Fergus Donoghue’s talk on Amazon Alexa, I decided to dig a little deeper on the uses of voice recognition technology. COVID has changed every industry and human buying/adoption rates. It’s no different for speech recognition technologies. Adaptation and use for voice recognition technologies has increased through COVID as it’s a more sanitary option, can be used for entertainment and its useful in the healthcare industry as well. “ The voice and speech recognition market is expected to grow at a 17.2% compound annualized rate to reach $26.8 billion by 2025” (might want to consider investing in this area). I had asked Fergus the question of whether he feels Alexa is at its peak right now, he had adamantly said not even close, and he was right…
Voice technology isn’t realty a standalone industry but rather a transformative technology that will cause disruption across industries – like what smartphones and the internet did. However, with the smartphone and internet there was a learning curve; much of the older generations are still trying to learn how to use these technologies. With speech recognition, there is no learning curve as this technology adapts to human behaviors and not the other way around.
Lets first look at some of the trends during Covid for this technology, I found three common themes:
- Everyone who already owned speech recognition technology was using it more
- People want to buy more of the technology
- We are using it in more creative ways – soon we will be using it in every aspect of our life rather than just ask it for the time, set a timer or play music.
Well that’s creative…
Robotic friendships are now a real thing, not just a movie concept. Replika is a chatbot phone app through which people can have human-like conversations with “friends.” This may sound like a repulsive idea, but studies show people feel increasingly lonely with the rise of technology and social media; so this may have given folks a outlet during isolation.
There is also Zora, a robot caregiver controlled by humans – it provides companionship. As hospital staff is stretched, Zora helped reach the many patients. A nurse can type words into the laptop for the Robot to speak, it also leads exercises and plays games.
Spotify got a patent in 2021 that would allow them to read emotions based on speech recognition – this would allow them to recommend you songs based on your emotions. Amazon and Google also in pursuit of patents related to speech emotion recognition.
Lets deep dive in Healthcare Industry…
Speech to text software has made significant difference in physician’s efficacy. Its especially helpful with patients with complex heath issues – they have more elaborate history to share. Doctors may not be effective typers to capture all the details. “Speech-recognition software allows physicians to “think out loud,” said Dr. Hsiao. That leads to richer content, less cutting and pasting of notes, and more complete problem lists.”
One of the issues in healthcare industry has been lack of diversity. One thing that diversity in Physicians would help solve is understanding various accents. This is another area where Speech Recognition software would be useful. It can help Physicians understand their patients better and as a result diagnose and treat them better. It can also make a patient feel more comfortable going to Physicians for care.
With speech emotion recognition therapists may be able to detect suicidal tendencies/mental state.
- Finding Medical Records quickly
- Giving instructions to Nurses
- Nurses can ask for administrative information, such as the number of patients on a floor and the number of available units
- Less paperwork
- Less time inputting data
- Improved workflows
Buckle up for the Future
Right now (as Ravi mentioned in class) we use speech recognition for very basic applications, but the potential is HUGE. Right now we use Voice search on Siri or Google. We may use it for Voice to text; I personally use Siri often to text when I am driving. We may also use voice commands for our smart home devices.
But think about the possibilities here. What if we started using voice biometrics for security, where we use our voice for authenticate ourselves versus providing our personal information every time we go to the bank or call our service providers on the phone for example. The technology is definitely in its infancy right now, but the potential is known and expected to be realized in the next few years. Business should start preparing for this shift. As the accuracy rates improves, there is more trust and buy-in from consumers across industries. Right now, we see a lot of applications in smart home technology and entertainment but that will soon expand to other areas. But let me ask you…