This speech recognition code is ‘just as good’ as a pro transcriber

Transcriptionist, your days are numbered, it seems Microsoft on Tuesday said that its researchers have “made a major breakthrough in speech recognition.” In a paper [PDF] published a day earlier, Microsoft machine learning researchers describe how they developed an automated system that can recognize recorded speech as well as a professional transcriptionist. Using the NIST 2000 dataset of recorded calls, Microsoft’s software performed slightly (0.4 per cent) better than the error rate the company attributes to professional transcriptionists (5.9 per cent) for the Switchboard portion of the data, in which strangers discuss a specified topic. It saw a similarly narrow margin of success with the CallHome portion of the data – in which family members converse without guidelines – where the human transcription error rate was 11.3 per cent. A…


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