Microsoft reached a historic landmark in artificial intelligence research. The company has announced a new speech recognition technology which it claims to be the first on par with humans.

Details about the software were reported as ‘Achieving Human Parity in Conversational Speech Recognition,’ published by the engineers at Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research.

As per reports, this new speech recognition system does the same of fewer errors when compared to the professional transcriptionists. As it is the first of its kind that a computer to record a word error rate lower than a human. But that fact is that it is far from perfect.

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“We’ve reached human parity, this is a historic achievement,” says, Xuedong Huang, Microsoft’s chief speech scientist.

“Even five years ago, I wouldn’t have thought we could have achieved this. I just wouldn’t have thought it would be possible.” Said Harry Shum, head of Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research group. “It will be much longer, much further down the road until computers can understand the real meaning of what’s being said or shown.” He added.

More work settings are needed to enhance the system in real life usage, like in noisy places in the background. The team of researchers is into the identifying individual speakers when more than two people are talking as a part of longer-term research efforts.

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It is expected that this new breakthrough technology could be used for teaching computers to recognize and understand spoken words. This may add the ability to answer questions or take actions based on what it is told to the technology. However, the researchers warn this could be a long way to go.


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