Carnegie Mellon University: LTI Project Aims To Expand Language Technologies

Carnegie Mellon University: LTI Project Aims To Expand Language Technologies. “Only a fraction of the 7,000 to 8,000 languages spoken around the world benefit from modern language technologies like voice-to-text transcription, automatic captioning, instantaneous translation and voice recognition. Carnegie Mellon University researchers want to expand the number of languages with automatic speech recognition tools available to them from around 200 to potentially 2,000.”

University of New South Wales: Hey Google, it’s time you listened closely to what our kids are saying

University of New South Wales: Hey Google, it’s time you listened closely to what our kids are saying. “Up until now, speech recognition software that powers virtual assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri has relied on a growing database of adult voices. But all that is about to change with the launch of AusKidTalk, a joint project of five Australian universities that aims to build a world-first database of Australian children’s voices.”

The Intercept: Prisons Across The U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases Of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints

The Intercept: Prisons Across The U.S. Are Quietly Building Databases Of Incarcerated People’s Voice Prints. “In New York and other states across the country, authorities are acquiring technology to extract and digitize the voices of incarcerated people into unique biometric signatures, known as voice prints. Prison authorities have quietly enrolled hundreds of thousands of incarcerated people’s voice prints into large-scale biometric databases. Computer algorithms then draw on these databases to identify the voices taking part in a call and to search for other calls in which the voices of interest are detected. Some programs, like New York’s, even analyze the voices of call recipients outside prisons to track which outsiders speak to multiple prisoners regularly.”

Washington Post: The Accent Gap

Washington Post: The Accent Gap. “Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are spearheading a voice-activated revolution, rapidly changing the way millions of people around the world learn new things and plan their lives. But for people with accents — even the regional lilts, dialects and drawls native to various parts of the United States — the artificially intelligent speakers can seem very different: inattentive, unresponsive, even isolating. For many across the country, the wave of the future has a bias problem, and it’s leaving them behind.”

Digital Trends: Major web browsers will support web-based fingerprint, facial authentication

Digital Trends: Major web browsers will support web-based fingerprint, facial authentication. “The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the entity that maintains the standards used across the internet, said on Monday, April 9, that Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla signed on to support web-based technology for biometric authentication. In other words, Chrome, Edge, and Firefox will soon support signing into online accounts using fingerprint scanners, voice authentication, facial recognition, and so on without additional software.”

The Next Web: AI learns how to fool text-to-speech. That’s bad news for voice assistants

The Next Web: AI learns how to fool text-to-speech. That’s bad news for voice assistants. “A pair of computer scientists at the University of California, Berkeley developed an AI-based attack that targets text-to-speech systems. With their method, no matter what an audio file sounds like, the text output will be whatever the attacker wants it to be. This one is pretty cool, but it’s also another entry for the ‘terrifying uses of AI’ category.”

Engadget: Google voice recognition could transcribe doctor visits

Engadget: Google voice recognition could transcribe doctor visits. “Doctors work long hours, and a disturbingly large part of that is documenting patient visits — one study indicates that they spend 6 hours of an 11-hour day making sure their records are up to snuff. But how do you streamline that work without hiring an army of note takers? Google Brain and Stanford think voice recognition is the answer. They recently partnered on a study that used automatic speech recognition (similar to what you’d find in Google Assistant or Google Translate) to transcribe both doctors and patients during a session.”

Fast Company: Mozilla is crowdsourcing a massive speech-recognition system

Fast Company: Mozilla is crowdsourcing a massive speech-recognition system. “From Amazon’s Alexa to Apple’s Siri, speech recognition and response are becoming mainstays of how we interact with computers, apps, and internet services. But the technology is owned by giant corporations. Now the Mozilla Foundation, maker of the free Firefox browser, is recruiting volunteers to train an open-source speech recognition system.”

Please Help Pete Warden Train His Robot With Open Speech Data

Hey! Pete Warden is trying to train his robot and needs some help – specifically he needs a data set of spoken words. Can you help? “I’ve put together a website … that asks you to speak about 100 words into the microphone, records the results, and then lets you submit the clips. I’m then hoping to release an open source data set out of these contributions, along with a TensorFlow example of a simple spoken word recognizer. The website itself is a little Flask app running on GCE, and the source code is up on github. I know it doesn’t work on iOS unfortunately, but it should work on Android devices, and any desktop machine with a microphone.”

Search Engine Land: Essential voice search strategies for 2017

Search Engine Land: Essential voice search strategies for 2017. “There’s one thing that remains true about SEO: it’s always changing. One of the big changes that we’re experiencing now in local SEO is the increasing popularity of voice search. Voice search used to be a novelty — now it’s a necessity, especially when you’re on the go with your smartphone or tablet. If you’re a local business, how do you optimize your business for this new personal assistant-type search? Here are some tips.”

Backchannel: Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It

A good one from Backchannel: Voice Is the Next Big Platform, and Alexa Will Own It. “Just as Apple taught us that a small portable phone could be a more powerful computing method than our lumbering desktops, Amazon is introducing us to a new computing interface — a voice devoid of a screen—that will eventually grow to be more ubiquitous and more useful than our smartphones. Forget the onerous process of pulling your Pixel or iPhone from your pocket, unlocking it, opening apps, and tapping your desires onto a screen. (Ugh!) Soon, you’ll speak your wants into the air — anywhere — and a woman’s warm voice with a mid-Atlantic accent will talk back to you, ready to fulfill your commands.”