Microsoft Improves Windows Phone Voice Recognition: 2X Faster, 15% More Accurate

Posted: June 17, 2013 in GT, Microsoft
Tags: , ,

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Google may have acquired Geoffrey Hinton’s
DNNresearch and is now using his technologies to
power its Google+ photo search features, but the
academic work Hinton did on deep neural networks
(DNN) is now also helping Microsoft to improve its
speech recognition systems. Microsoft today announced that it is using DNNs to double the speed
of its speech recognition engine for Windows Phone
while bringing down its word-error rate by 15 percent.
Bing Voice Search, the company says, now also
works far better in noisy conditions. For now, these improvements are only available for
users in the U.S. Microsoft says it quietly started rolling this new
system out to Windows Phone users over the last few
weeks. The new system is the results of the Bing
Voice team working closely with Microsoft Research,
the company’s network of thirteen research labs that
work on anything from improving cell phone battery life and machine learning to research in game theory
and economics. DNNs, Microsoft says, help researchers build a
smarter acoustic model to represent the acoustic
representations of a language. Essentially, the idea is
to build a model of how the brain listens to and
interprets speech. You can find more info about how
Microsoft uses DNN here. There can be little doubt that voice recognition is a
pretty hot area right now. Google, with its
conversational search feature, is currently leading the
way, but Apple (with Siri), Microsoft and a number of
startups like Maluuba are also all working on products
that use voice recognition, natural language processing and other techniques to get users just a
little bit closer to the “Star Trek computer” ideal.

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