There are many different potential applications of speech recognition, though some of the most likely areas of development include use in phone systems, computer talk-to-text programs, and in developing artificial intelligence (AI) applications. In phone systems and various telephony applications, speech recognition allows for menus and call routing to be handled through an automated system more easily than through touch tone applications. Computer programs can utilize talk-to-text programs to allow someone to speak in order to generate original text in a program. Applications of speech recognition in AI development are quite important, as they create the potential for machines that understand human speech.
One of the most common applications of speech recognition is in the development of new telephony systems and services. A telephone menu, for example, can utilize speech recognition software to allow a caller to speak his or her directions into the system rather than listening to a long series of menus. Call routing can also utilize speech recognition to allow a person to state the name of the individual that he or she is trying to call. While these systems are often imperfect, they do allow for greater flexibility and faster navigation than those systems that require touch-tone input.
Applications of speech recognition in developing new computer software, especially talk-to-text software, are also quite popular. This type of software allows a person to use a microphone connected to his or her computer and speak into the microphone to generate text in a program running on that computer. Someone can use a word processing program, for example, to dictate a message into the program through speech recognition software, rather than typing it into a keyboard. These programs can be quite easy to use, provide computer users with more input options, and are especially helpful for those people who may have physical conditions that make manual typing difficult or impossible.
There are also applications of speech recognition in the development of more complex AI systems. AI development is typically used in creating speech recognition software to begin with, as these programs utilize pattern recognition in AI to recognize speech. As more complex machines and systems are created, however, speech recognition is likely to be an important component in developing more complicated AI and robots that can interact with people more easily. While computer interfaces are likely to remain for the foreseeable future, the ability to issue spoken commands to a robotic device that understands these commands is a vital development for future intelligent robots.