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IVR - 'iBrain' Taking Voice Recognition Technology to Critical New Levels
July 24, 2012

'iBrain' Taking Voice Recognition Technology to Critical New Levels

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

Text-to-speech (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) technologies are very much integrated and work with a majority of interactive voice response (IVR) applications, and as these fields continue to grow, it can give us insight into the future of the advancement of IVR as well, according to a Plum Voice blog posted today.

The blog details an article published by DailyTech, which reports on a new technology called “iBrain,” which was developed by a startup company called NeuroVigil being implemented by researchers at Stanford in an effort to get one man – Professor Stephen Hawking – communicating.

Hawking suffers from a degenerative neural disease and currently uses a device which works to decode facial expressions and movement to translate into speech. This device is generally slow moving and takes hours to translate just a couple of sentences.

Clearly a frustrating process, the iBrain works by simply slipping onto the user’s head, where it then proceeds to scan and process brain wave activity to understand thoughts and words. iBrain can even distinguish between different types of brain waves to detect specific actions or thoughts a person is attempting to communicate.

The Plum blog gives a good example of its inner workings in the following description: “For example, gamma rays are generated when a paralyzed person attempts to move their limbs, and alpha waves are brain waves associated with relaxation.  Researchers hope that the device will function ‘by associating willful thought with words – or possible letters –‘to develop a speech system that will ‘far outpace the painstakingly slow dictation systems that fully paralyzed individuals like Professor Hawking use.’”

As if this technological development isn’t revolutionary enough, it may even work to go a step further by being used to order exoskeleton movements, which could enable paralyzed individuals mobility. The technology is still in the works, but if researchers and developers can pull this off, it could literally change peoples’ lives forever.

While these sorts of groundbreaking advancements continue to be met and worked upon, we can only wait and see how IVR will grow and progress as well!

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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