What Are the Applications of Speech Recognition?

G. Wiesen

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.

Speech recognition menus are often used with touch tone telephones.
Speech recognition menus are often used with touch tone telephones.

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.

Speech recognition is the process of spoken words into text on a computer screen.
Speech recognition is the process of spoken words into text on a computer screen.

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.

Speech recognition can be incorporated into robots that interact with humans.
Speech recognition can be incorporated into robots that interact with humans.

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Discussion Comments


@ceilingcat - Accurate interpretation of the speech can be a problem for any speech recognition application. However, if you get good software, it will eventually adapt to your speaking patterns. (This doesn't help for those telephone systems though, since they deal with so many people every day.)

A friend of mine got some talk-to-text software for her computer. She's a freelance writer, and the faster she can get her thoughts into words, the better. So she decided to try talk-to-text. The software package she got has you say certain words to calibrate the program to your speech. That way it has a better chance of accurately interpreting what you're saying.


@strawCake - My phone has talk-to-text capabilities, but I've actually never tried it out. I've had so many bad experiences with those speech recognition phone menus I figured a cell phone application would never be able to transcribe my speech accurately. Maybe I'll give it a try now that I've seen your post.

But seriously, I don't know if it's just me, but every single time I'm trying to use a speech recognition phone menu, it never understands me. It's so frustrating. I wish some of these companies would upgrade their technology!


Speech recognition technology is definitely getting more and more popular. In fact, my cell phone has talk-to-text capabilities. So when I'm sending a text message, instead of using the keyboard to type it, I can press a little button that looks like a microphone and say my message into the phone instead.

I really like this for when I'm driving. It never fails that I need to respond to a text while driving, so the talk-to-text application lets me respond, but still keep my eyes on the road. And the application is fairly accurate too, which is nice.

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