First Computer to Match Humans in Ordinary Speech Recognition

One by one, the skills that separate us from machines are falling into the machines’ column. First there was chess, then Jeopardy!, then Go, then object recognition, face recognition, and video gaming in general. You could be forgiven for thinking that humans are becoming obsolete. But try any voice recognition software and your faith in humanity will be quickly restored. Though good and getting better, these systems are by no means perfect. Are you ordering “ice cream” or saying “I scream”? Probably both, if it’s a machine you are talking to. So it ought to be reassuring to know that ordinary conversational speech recognition is something machines still struggle at—that humans are still masters of their own language. That view may have to change. Quickly. Today, Geoff Zweig and buddies at…


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