The Future of Voice: What’s Next After Siri, Alexa and OK Google

Ever since the dawn of computing technology in the 1950s, scientists and consumers alike have dreamed of bridging the gap between man and machine with natural spoken language. As machines began to outperform humans in complex calculation-based tasks, it became frustrating that they should lag so far behind in understanding language, that most basic building block that separates us from other animals, particularly when our own species’ infants pick up language quickly and instinctively. Despite scientists dedicating their lives to the challenge over several decades, until recently, only very slow progress had been made in teaching machines to understand spoken language at all, let alone with human-level proficiency. The first significant advances came in speech recognition, the ability to convert sound waves into text representing spoken words. Advances in speech…

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