The evolution of speech recognition technology


Do you remember when the idea of KITT, the chatty Knight Rider car, still blew you away? Or when Blade Runner Eric Decker verbally commanded his computer to enhance photos of a crime scene? The idea of being understood by a computer seemed futuristic enough, let alone one that could answer your questions and understand your commands.

About the Author

Graeme John Cole is a contributor for Rev, creator of the world’s most accurate automatic speech recognition engine, Rev.ai.

Today, we all carry KITT in our pockets. We sigh when KITT answers the phone at the bank. The personality isn’t quite there yet – but computers can recognize the words we say near-perfectly.

Michael Knight, the Knight Rider hero who partnered with his intelligent car to fight crime, was skeptical at the thought KITT might understand his questions in 1982. But the development of speech recognition technology had been underway since the 1950s. Here’s a closer look at how that technology has evolved over the years. And how our ways of using speech recognition and speech-to-text capabilities have evolved alongside the tech.

(Image credit: IBM)

The first listening computers, 1950-80s



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