Voice technology got impressive when we weren’t looking. Seemingly out of nowhere, cutting-edge solutions pop up one by one, and they actually work.
This generates a lot of discussion, which inevitably lags behind the reality: people can’t not use something this good. While tech experts argue about the ramifications of AI, the internet has a field day exploiting AI-powered voice technology.
And you know what? I think everyone should try it.
1. Voice Typing & Transcription.
The voice transcription technology used to be hilariously bad. You had to speak in a refined TV accent, and even then you’d get gems like “cat atrophy” (catastrophe), “success exam” (6:06 AM), and “cake asked me to” (tracheostomy tube).
Today voice typing is at 99% accuracy. You can even buy wearables allowing you to voice type without a phone. These apps and devices support multiple languages. They ‘understand’ accents and compile your notes into neat, formatted text files. You can also browse the internet using nothing but your voice; and this used to be sci-fi.
Senstone Scripter: AI-powered voice typing, wearable or app, works offline
Cloud Speech-to-Text: Google transcription service, online
2. Voice Cloning.
One of the most controversial and flashy services enabled by the progress of voice technology is voice cloning. It’s exactly what is says on the tin: AI can copy any voice. A 30 seconds worth of audio is enough for it to pick up your speech patterns.
While many netizens immediately think about identity theft and scamming, imagine all the creative content that can be made using voice cloning. The audio books, the movies, the video games.
Voice cloning can potentially help disabled people express themselves more clearly, or even regain speech. It can assist paralysed patients, those with vocal cord issues, and other diseases.
ElevenLabs: cutting edge voice cloning gone publicly available
3. Voice Recognition.
Voice recognition technology keeps making big steps ahead, all thanks to advancements in machine learning and NLP (natural language processing). Major tech companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and IBM made a lot of progress in improving their voice recognition systems. The field is tense with competition, and for good reasons.
Uses for voice recognition include gadgets adjusting to your emotions, personalizing smart homes, and boosting your security with additional voice checks.
4. Smart Assistants & Voice Technology.
Combine the best voice technology has to offer into one and get smart assistants. As they keep getting better, expect your Alexa to be able to mimic voices, read your mood, and book appointments for you.
The disadvantage of such assistants is that they need a constant online connection to access all of their functions.
Siri: app, virtual assistant by Apple
Alexa: physical device, made by Amazon
Cortana: the Microsoft virtual assistant for Windows
While some people might feel uneasy about the world changing so rapidly, ultimately the voice technology revolution is a good thing. The new tools are helpful and easy to use, and you can access them from the comfort of your home.
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