Nobody enjoys spending hours searching online for information they need. Whether it’s doing research on a service, looking for answers to a question, searching for specific images, wanting to know customer reviews, or even trying to purchase a product.

In today’s fast-paced economy, voice search is quickly becoming the preferred method of browsing both at home and work. And why wouldn’t it be? You simply speak to your preferred smart device and receive credible answers almost instantaneously.

smart voice-activated devices

Here are a few interesting voice-search related stats as of 2022 (according to RedSearch):

  • Almost every Australian adult owns a smart speaker
  • 24% of Australian households own three or more smart devices
  • 67% of the total smart speaker owners use the device daily
  • 61% of smart speaker owners intend to buy another one in the future
  • 49% of Australians use their smart device to interact with brands, products, or services
  • 49% use voice-search through smartphones

Man speaking to phone voice search

Speech recognition is used to access websites, speech translation, voice assistants and for operating devices. But what happens if a user’s speech pattern is affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or Down Syndrome?

That’s why 5 major tech giants are coming together, joining what’s called the ‘Speech Accessibility Project’ in order to help develop advanced speech recognition systems that can serve the needs of people with impaired speech. These tech giants include:

  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Meta (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp)
  • Microsoft

The project aims to solve the challenge of making speech recognition work for those with non-standard speech patterns. By collecting samples of different voice patterns and creating an anonymous dataset.

This dataset will then be used to create machine learning models that can better understand the variety of voice patterns that are currently underserved.

The project will first work with English and then expand to other languages.

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