Cortana: A Personal Voice Assistant for Microsoft Users.

A leading software company, Microsoft has unleashed a level by an achievement which marked its space in the company’s track records. A recent study has released the details of the historic achievements made by Microsoft in the field of speech recognition technology, which is named, Cortana.

Speech recognition technology is equipped with the software to transcribe conversational speech as best as professional human transcriptionists (which is better than most humans).

Such an achievement comes through decades of studies on speech recognition technology. The studies were first initiated in the 1970s. Cortana can be considered as the Microsoft’s timely contribution to the fast- paced artificial intelligence (AI) research and development.

The recent revelations made it clear that Microsoft’s Cortana is showing improvements than earlier and is all geared up to be a personal assistant to its users. It has scored a word error rate (WER) of 5.9%, which is lower than the 6.3% WER reported a month prior.

Microsoft reports stated, “[I]t’s the lowest ever recorded against the industry standard Switchboard speech recognition task.” The rate is the same as or even lower than the human professional transcriptionists who transcribed the same conversation.

Xuedong Huang, Microsoft’s chief speech scientist exclaimed, “We’ve reached human parity.”  However, Microsoft clarifies that Cortana’s ability to be on par with humans does not ensure perfection. Primarily because the software did not recognise certain accurate which is common with humans too, even if they are professional human transcriptionists.

Efforts are being made to make it a better personal assistant to its users. ” This will make Cortana more powerful, making a truly intelligent assistant possible,” says an excited Harry Shum. He is  the executive vice president heading the Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group.

Geoffrey Zweig, Speech & Dialog research group manager talking on next goals of the company explains, “The next frontier is to move from recognition to understanding.”

Thereby the new technology is bound to provide users a new experience while using their computers and Xbox, a Cortana acts as their personal voice assistant.



Shobith MAKAM Written by:

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