The ability to audio communicate with a chatbot is due to a technology called Speech Recognition, and this is what we will talk about in this article.
If you were curious and want to know how this feature benefits chatbots, read on!
What is Speech Recognition?
There was a time when having robots help you with certain tasks was just something out of a movie. Yet, faster than we thought, chatbots appeared. And after a while, those same chatbots evolved and started talking to us and us with them.
Speech Recognition is a branch of Computer Science and Computational Linguistics. It’s a field that develops methodologies that allow computers to translate speech inputs into written text.
In addition to Speech Recognition, this technology is also known as Speech Recognition, ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition), Computer Speech Recognition, or Speech to Text (STT).
How does Speech Recognition work?
As the name implies, this technology allows recognizing the user’s voice commands and their conversion into text to be processed by the system.
There are two types of Speech Recognition:
These are speech recognition systems that require training. In this training, a speaker reads texts or just loose vocabulary to feed the computer’s knowledge base.
This type of Voice Recognition is more accurate since it analyzes the person’s voice in question and tunes the system to recognize that particular voice.
On the other hand, these speech recognition systems do not require training. They do not recognize specific voices but analyze and translate into text what has been said.
An example of the use of this software occurs in telephone applications.
The Correlation between Speech Recognition and Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence or AI is the science that enables a machine to perform tasks, once performed by humans, and to mimic their reasoning process. In other words, it provides, so to speak, some level of intelligence to a system.
AI is currently used in many different areas, and depending on the technologies implemented, the software can perform certain actions.
Sometimes confused, AI and Machine Learning (ML) are distinct yet related concepts. Simply put, Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence and is the technology that allows a machine to learn without the need for human intervention.
For a system to learn, it needs to be fed large volumes of data to recognize patterns and thus characterize them.
Speech Recognition and AI are intertwined by learning processes and data processing.
As we mentioned earlier, Speech Recognition software needs large volumes of inputs to provide the best possible performance. That’s where AI comes in with the automation of these processes.
In addition, there is also NLP (Natural Language Processing), another branch of AI, which enables the processing of human languages. For example, English, Portuguese, Spanish, etc.
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Chatbots vs. Voice bots
Chatbots are possibly one of the most accessible ways to see Artificial Intelligence in action.
These conversational agents use areas of AI, namely ML and NLP, to communicate with humans.
Through these technologies, they can understand and extract the information given to them by written messages and respond.
Chatbots are service automation solutions often found in various digital communication channels, such as company websites, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.
On the other hand, there are voice bots or, more often known as virtual assistants.
These, just like chatbots, have the goal of automating certain processes but with a more personal role.
So, to summarize, companies mostly use chatbots to automate their services (internal or customer support), and their inputs and outputs are written messages. As the name might suggest, voice bots only receive voice commands and respond in the same way. Moreover, they have a more individual support role.
Speech Recognition: The Ears of Your Chatbot
Knowing the difference between chatbots and voice bots, it’s also possible to add a third option involving both solutions — speech recognition chatbots or voice chatbots.
As we mentioned earlier, Speech Recognition technology is what allows a system to convert voice commands and translate them into text.
Once translated, that information goes through the same processing that a written text message would have in a “normal” chatbot.
Just like giving OCR the ability to read the text contained in images, you can also give your chatbot the ability to listen.
If you were curious about what OCR is, you might be interested in the following article: OCR: Give Eyes to Your Chatbot.
The Benefits of Speech Recognition Chatbots
Users are becoming more and more interested and demanding regarding these technological solutions.
If it’s to be as similar to human dialogues, then both chatbots and voice chatbots have to meet the demands and characteristics of those same conversations.
Eliminating waiting time, getting answers that correctly answer our questions are two examples of what your customers expect. Be it by message or by voice.
Nobody likes to be talking and get an answer that has nothing to do with the topic. In such cases, you might as well send the user to human assistants via Live Chat.
A chatbot already brings many advantages to your company, such as:
- 24/7 service
- Decreased response time
- Automation of repetitive processes
- A way of capturing commercial leads
- Increased satisfaction of customers and their teams
- Means of supporting customers and/or employees
Still, between writing and speaking, no doubt speaking is much more natural for a human being. For this reason, the inclusion of voice commands takes your chatbot to another level.
A voice chatbot gives you the following benefits:
1) Provides more “human-like” interactions
As we already mentioned, speech is much more natural than writing. For this reason, you get communications that are more spontaneous and not as thought out, as is the case with written messages.
This spontaneity is very useful for your chatbot, as it increases its knowledge base and improves its AI with the various commands it receives.
2) Improves user experience
Companies are very concerned about the usability and user experience on their website and communication channels.
If a chatbot already greatly improved the user experience when navigating to your website, having the ability to talk to the chatbot improves it even more.
3) Enables multitasking
Also related to the consumer experience, the voice option allows the consumer to do other tasks while asking your chatbot for information.
This factor, as well as the others, greatly increases customer satisfaction in that they don’t have to stop doing what they are doing to communicate with the bot.
4) More inclusive solution
Despite being an almost non-existent factor (thankfully!), there are still illiterate people who, for some reason, have not learned to write.
Other than that, there are people with motor disabilities that do not allow them to use keyboards or other types of tactile devices.
Voice can be the ideal solution to include and show that all your customers are taken into consideration.
Visor.ai Voice Chatbots
Visor.ai chatbots are a great option to enhance your Customer Support or internal employee support services.
Our solutions rely on in-house developed NLP and Machine Learning to meet our requirements and our customers’ needs.
This way, we make sure that our customers get the results they want and, if changes are needed, we don’t have to rely on third parties.
Besides being quick-to-implement solutions, they’re easily adaptable with any integration the customer wants, including voice functionality.
Learn more about how to include these spectacular solutions in your digital communication channels… Contact us!
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Speech Recognition: How You Can Talk to Your Chatbot was originally published in Chatbots Life on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.