speech recognition definition

Speech recognition is the ability of a machine or program to identify words and phrases in spoken language and convert them to a machine-readable format. Rudimentary speech recognition software has a limited vocabulary of words and phrases and may only identify these if they are spoken very clearly. More sophisticated software has the ability to accept natural speech. Speech recognition applications include call routing, speech-to-text, voice dialing and voice search.

The terms "speech recognition" and "voice recognition" are sometimes used interchangeably. However, the two terms mean different things. Speech recognition is used to identify words in spoken language. Voice recognition is a biometric technology used to identify a particular individual's voice.

This was first published in March 2007

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