Last week, Microsoft announced a historic achievement: its researchers reached human parity in conversational speech recognition. At the recent Windows 10 event, Microsoft fully proved its speech recognition tool is indeed flawless.

Although none of the speakers who took to the stage mentioned the word “speech recognition”, the audience could see their words appear on the two onstage secondary screens.

microsoft speech recognition

Microsoft made a major breakthrough in speech recognition in creating a technology that recognizes the words in a conversation as well as a person does. The recent Windows 10 event fully confirms this.

According to a team of researchers and engineers at Microsoft’s Artificial Intelligence and Research division, its speech recognition system makes the same or fewer errors than professional transcriptionists. This achievement exceeded even their most optimistic expectations.

We’ve reached human parity. This is an historic achievement. Even five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought we could have achieved this. I just wouldn’t have thought it would be possible.

This achievement is even more important since it comes decades after the beginnings of speech recognition research in the early 1970s. In the last five years, no major advancement was made in the speech recognition field and many people actually thought this field had reached a dead-end. Fortunately, thanks to Microsoft’s achievement, the dream of fully interacting with computers via voice input doesn’t seem too far-fetched anymore.

This means that Cortana will become a truly intelligent assistant when the Windows 10 Creators Update is released. Perhaps, one day, users will interact with their computers via voice commands alone.

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