Even though Artificial Intelligence (A.I) dates back all the way to Greek Antiquity, it was only around a century ago that the technological revolution actually began to bloom. Once, anything revolved around robots was just a creation of the brain, crafted by what we read in books or saw in science fictions movies. However now these technologies are slowly being normalized and incorporated into our everyday lives.
Remember those days at concerts when the band would play a slow song and this was your cue to fish out your lighter from your pocket and hold it in the air and wave your arm from side to side? This is no longer the concert etiquette; now we fish out our smart phones and put our flash on. What’s great about this is that more people own phones than they do lighters; everyone can now be part of the social norm. For those nostalgic about the lighters at concerts, there’s most probably an app called “lighter” or something along those lines that would enable you to still feel old school in a modern way. This is just one example amongst many in which technology has intertwined itself in our day to day life.
Artificial Intelligence may still sound like something from out of science fiction but technology is evolving at such an incredible pace that it is suddenly becoming very real. It was the famous mathematician and WWII code breaker, Alan Turing, who was one of the first people to recognize the concept of “machines that think”, back in the 1950s. Yet it’s onlysince the 1980s, with the increasing pervasiveness of computers, that the focus on machines that think has lead to such astonishing developments in A.I. This past week Google’s London-based A.I company, DeepMind, has stated that its machine has mastered the famous board game: Go. This is the first time in history that a computer has beaten a human professional! What’s interesting about the program, designed by DeepMind: AlphaGo, is that it wasn’t preprogrammed to play Go; it learnt how to play using a general-purpose algorithm that permitted it to interpret the game’s pattern. This technique could be applied to any other A.I domains that require recognition of complex patterns; voice recognition being amongst them.
Voice recognition is definitely a dynamic branch of the AI movement. There has been a 30 percent improvement in the accuracy of speech recognition technology within the past 2 years; making it the biggest performance leap since research began. The theory goes: the more recorded voice data that becomes available the better the accuracy of trained speech recognition systems. Now, even though this is true, here at ObEN we’ve developed technology that can reduce the system training time to minutes. To put that into perspective, Susan Bennett had to spend four hours a day over a month recording herself speak so that she could become the voice of “Siri”.
Here at ObEN we pride ourselves on being able to humanize any IoT (Internet of Things) device in exceptionally low timing. Robots in many recent science fiction films are extremely human like: they move around like us and sound like us. However, nowadays we aren’t quite there yet. Robots are still viewed as mechanical machines with mechanical movements and harsh mechanical speech. ObEN has now made it possible for robots not only to speak like a human but more importantly in any voice you desired, whether it be yours, your brother’s, a friend’s or that of a famous celebrity. It is now only a matter of time before all devices will be communicating in a humanized manner.
From the team here at ObEN we wish you a great day, and weekend!
About the author:
Georgina Bunn recently joined the ObEN team as Corporate Communications Associate.