In the last few years, the increasing speed of computers and improvements in software design have opened up the possibility of applying speech recognition technologies to a broad range of everyday applications:
In the home: Voice-activated alarm and control systems may provide support to the elderly and infirm in their homes.
In the office: Applications include personal identification for access to buildings and computers, dictation, and voice control of computer systems such as databases.
Military: Voice recognition technologies are useful for "hands-free" control of weapons systems, for example, on fighter aircraft. This avoids the need to remove visual attention from the visual scene.
Automobiles: Applications include "Hands-free" control of peripheral systems such as phones and music systems, and voice control of navigational aids.
Games and toys: Voice driven games and toys are increasing in popularity.
Natural language processing
Natural language processing (NLP) systems are used to analyse spoken or written natural language. They may also be used to generate natural language responses. Thus, the possibility exists of developing conversational systems.
Many conversational systems are designed merely as engaging toys. These systems often work by simply searching for keywords in the users inputs. For more sophisticated applications, such as voice-driven interfaces to expert systems, the semantic content of user's inputs must be properly analysed and understood.
NLP techniques may be used to analyse the speech and text contents of multimedia data streams. Natural language processing can help the semantic processing of speech and text in order to facilitate multimedia content analysis (MCA). MCA-based applications process written text, for example, newspapers, reports, manuals, websites and e-mails.
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