An Ear For Robots: New Approach

Jul 04, 2005

A fundamentally new approach to computer identification of words was been suggested by Russian scientists. With its help, people will be able to give orders even to the most primitive cellular phones.

A sentient being recognizes without difficulty a familiar word regardless of the voice and intonation it is pronounced with. "Six" or "eight" remain six and eight for a person no matter how they are pronounced – in a loud voice or in a whisper, in an excited or a calm voice, by the voice of an old man or a child, by that of a man or a woman. The brain of a person immediately separates the semantic part from the mass of background sounds.

As for a machine, each variant of voice is unique. That is why the speech recognition program usually has to be taught. As a result of training, an enormous library appears in the memory of the silicon brain, where thousands of possible options of pronunciation of the same words (for example, numerals) are stored. Having heard a word, the computer would look through the library and almost certainly something similar to the heard word will be found in it.

The approach suggested by the scientists from the Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Sciences, is rather human, than machine one: a computer under the researchers’ guidance filters individual peculiarities, i.e. picks out the most basic things and rejects all immaterial ones. As a result, the machine even acquires the ability to discern individual sounds and to put together in its mind familiar words from these sounds.

As a result, memory of only 1 KB would be sufficient for a processor to confidently recognize all numerals and some simple commands, however, pronounced only in Russian yet. Several dozens of human beings – men and women, with irreproachable and far-from-ideal articulation – tried to confuse a quick-witted program, pronouncing numerals either in a whisper or in a voice trembling with excitement. However, the computer successfully rejected emotional frequencies as immaterial.

“The prototype software interface developed and established by ourspecialists for the system of data and management commands voice input is intended for mass mobile electronic devices, says the project manager, Vyacheslav Anciperov. Perhaps, the most important and fundamentally new about our work is that we have managed to single out essential elements of speech being guided by the notion of hierarchical structure of speech. Like in a musical composition, one can recognize more or less high levels of organization - rhythm, main theme, arrangement, so we have also learned to single out the ranges in the speech flow (i.e. in the wide frequency spectrum), which carry the major semantic loading. It has turned out that this is a very small part of human speech sounds – only up to 1 KHz. All the rest relates to psychophysis. Thus we simplified the task for the computer to the maximum. And one more thing – we have taught the computer to recognize individual sounds, which is sometimes far from easy. As a result, our system wins in processing speed and in processor time and memory consumption as compared to those of all known similar systems. This is the path to efficient speech processors that nobody has passed yet.”

Source: Informnauka (Informscience) Agency

Explore further: Dish's Internet TV, Sling, gets HBO service for $15 a month

Related Stories

Build your own Siri: An open-source digital assistant

Mar 11, 2015

An open-source computing system you command with your voice like Apple's Siri is designed to spark a new generation of "intelligent personal assistants" for wearables and other devices. It could also lead to much-needed advancements ...

Gates working on Personal Agent project with Microsoft

Jan 30, 2015

"Hi, Reddit. I'm Bill Gates..." Like Elon Musk, like Larry Ellison, like Larry Page, certain names draw immense numbers wanting to know what's on their mind, from barbecue-sauce tastes to actual work. A five-line ...

It's not just your TV listening in to your conversation

Feb 10, 2015

Be careful what you say in front of your new television, following reports that Samsung's new Smart TVs are now being programmed to listen to every word you say and send it over the internet to a third party ...

Name that voice: Mathematica catches impersonations

Dec 02, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch was recently invited to show off his voice impersonations of celebrities, from Christopher Walken to Taylor Swift. That video evidently inspired Wolfram's Rita Crook, marketing products ...

JIBO robot could become part of the family

Jul 17, 2014

JIBO, measuring at about 11 inches tall and weighing approximately 6 pounds, is a robotic device designed for people to use as a companion and helper at home. , The team behind JIBO aims to bring it to market ...

QuadStick controller says Go for quadriplegic gamers

Feb 06, 2014

Children and adults sidelined by serious illness and immobility from life as healthy people know it b may find relief from anxiety and depression with a "pill" in the form of online games, a drug-free mood ...

Recommended for you

Search, social & shopping: Pinterest turns 5

9 hours ago

In its five short years of life, Pinterest has become 'the' place where brides-to-be create wish boards of wedding china photos and do-it-yourself home renovators bookmark shiny turquoise tiles for bathrooms. ...

Vibration pen is designed for people with Parkinson's

10 hours ago

A woman appears in a video about a very special pen, the ARC, specifically designed for people with Parkinson's living with micrographia. Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2013, the woman says that, over time, ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.