Nuance on the Future of Natural Language Processing


Gopal Sathe of NDTV Gadgets recently wrote, "We caught up with Sunny Rao, the MD of Nuance Communications India and South East Asia, and chatted about the developments in speech recognition, frustrations with using speech-to-text software and how the way we interact with our devices is about to change forever. Rao speaks like a person who has been talking to machines for a long time - his speech is clear, and there's a small space around each word for maximum clarity. Over tea, we're able to discuss how voice recognition is being used around the world, and how he sees the future of the technology shaping up. And naturally, we talked about the movie Her."


Asked about the future of voice technology, Rao said, "You're going to reach a point where you wake up and you talk to your TV and ask for a traffic report. I'll ask my TV, how's the traffic today on the way to work. It'll check the traffic and show me the best route, and that's going to go to my phone, and then also to my car, maintaining the continuity of the transaction, one is within that device, but across devices as well. We want to cover all four screens that are available and have a transaction that crosses all these devices. And your voice is the key, I walk into the car and it says, 'good morning' and I reply with 'good morning' and it knows that I'm getting in, and adjusts the steering column and chair for me, while if my wife gets in, then it can adjust the seat according to her preferences. Dictation is only one component of it though. The other component, to make what you've said more intelligently understood. This is done with Natural Language Processing, which means talking to your device in a human like fashion. It should be context aware, and able to do semantic analysis."


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Image: Courtesy Nuance