Can you hear me, Cortana? Microsoft hits milestone in speech recognition AI

If you’re fed up with chatbots mishearing you, Microsoft is making machine ears a little more attentive. Researchers from the tech giant have achieved an impressively low error rate for speech-recognition software — just 6.3 percent, according to a paper published last week. The company hopes this milestone will help refine and personalize its AI assistant, Cortana, and features like Skype Translator.The newest error rate of Microsoft’s conversational speech-recognition system is regarded as the lowest in the industry, according to Xuedong Huang, Microsoft’s chief speech scientist. IBM meanwhile recently announced an error rate of 6.6 percent, bettering its 6.9 percent error rate from April and the 8 percent milestone that the company achieved last year. Two decades ago, the lowest error rate of a published system was more than 43 percent, Microsoft notes in a blog post. Related: Smartphone speech…


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