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IVR - Talking to Your Tech: Odd or Amazing?
June 12, 2012

Talking to Your Tech: Odd or Amazing?

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

When thinking about talking to your computer, you naturally might feel a little weird about it. If you’re one of those people, think about it – not so long ago it felt weird to have a touch-screen device, and a little over a decade ago it felt weird to have a computer at all. We now live in an age where individuals fall asleep with their phones beside them on their mattress or in their hands; now we live in an age where we can speak to our technology like it’s our friend or family member.

Remember how amazing it was to use your fingers to directly interact with your phone without needing a bunch of buttons or other assistance? Now, we’re going to relish in not having to use our fingers, but our voices.

Plum Voice recently blogged about this new voice recognition technology, which not only applies to navigating your cell phone, but also performs speech therapy for the hearing and speech-impaired, as reported by researched Robert Godwin-Jones at the Virginia Commonwealth University. Additionally, in his essay, “Emerging Technologies: Speech Tools and Technologies,” he sheds some light on the voice recognition software and development of some defining programs in speech therapy.

This new, interactive program works by listening to its user’s pronunciation of certain words or phrases, and can offer criticism of pronunciation and analyze the user’s speech patterns. Furthermore, this new advancement can utilize an interactive, game-like interface to further engage users while working on pronunciation – an often-used practice in classrooms and educational environment everywhere.

So if you ever dreamt of one day having a conversation with your computer, it is now coming true. Individuals today can have a clear, concise, and very real conversation with his or her computer – without having to repeat themselves or guess at correct responses, like a lot of underdeveloped technology out there. This will be extremely appealing, as almost everyone knows what it’s like to have to repeat themselves while using a particular frustrating IVR system. This will no longer be a problem thanks to the advancements in this unique software, which will recognize users’ voices.

This is quite an evolutionary step – or leap – for all of computer-kind, where in the computer’s early days, it needed an almost exact match between the input received from the user and the stored data. Of course, this meant repeating yourself dozens of times before the computer understood what you were saying in order to move forward.

Godwin-Jones explains how now, “new standards are being developed in this area, which should allow advances and innovations to be shared more easily and implemented more widely.”

If this goes smoothly, we will be able to talk to our computers the way we talk to each other – without even thinking about it. These enhancements in the software will essentially allow it to be more easily used and expand beyond mere commercial applications with a multitude of different programs and variations in the software. This then creates an easier, simpler way to teach communication – and most excitingly – a new way to interact with computers, proving to be a new stepping stone to a very bright technological future.

In conclusion, there’s only one word to describe this new development: Amazing.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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