Thursday, July 28, 2005

I am glad you called though

My geek interests are not a very limited. In fact they are quite broad. And diverse. One area of fascination to me is the computer interface, and in particular, text-to-speech and the holy grail, speech recognition. Perhaps it all began with dear Scotty. That would make sense.

Part of my fascination stems from the realization that one day, it is actually going to work. And that will have some consequences which people generally don't realize today. Take the common complaint that no matter where you call nowadays, you never get a human on the other end of the line, only a computer.

Well what happens when you can't tell the difference any more?

Speech interfaces are putting more and more emphasis on imitating the conversation, not just delivering raw text-to-speech. Idle chit-chats and pleasantries actually add an eerie quality to computer speech. Yes, that one is a work in progress, and yes, it is nowhere near there yet, but you can still envision where it is going.

Like what you see?