Speech Recognition – Ready for Prime Time?

Here at AnandTech, we do our best to cover the topics that will interest our readers. Naturally, some topics are of interest to the vast majority of readers, while others target a more limited audience. At first glance, this article falls squarely into the latter category. However, when we think about where computers started and where they are now, and then try to extrapolate that and determine where they are heading in the future, certainly the User Interface has to play a substantial part in making computers easier to use for a larger portion of the population. Manual typewriters gave way to keyboards; text interfaces have been replaced by GUIs (mostly); and we have mice, trackballs, touchpads, and WYSIWYG interfaces now. Unfortunately, we have yet to realize the vision of Isaac Asimov and other science fiction writers where computers can fully understand human speech. Why does any of this really matter? I mean, we’re all basically familiar with using keyboards and mice, and they seem to get the job done quite well. Certainly, it’s difficult to imagine speech recognition becoming the preferred way of playing games. (Well, some types of games at least.) There are also people in the world that can type at 140 wpm or faster — wouldn’t they just be slowed down by trying to dictate to the computer instead of typing?

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