Why won't Siri listen?

June 23, 2016

Voice recognition systems promise a hands free world. Want to check the weather? Just ask Siri. Want to know the time in Vancouver, she can tell you that too. But, this widespread technology, which can be found in smart phones, TVs (and who knows maybe even washing machines one day!), is not all inclusive.

For the over 300,000 Canadians who stutter, this type of technology can be used with little to no success.

Why is this?

CEO of Sensory, Todd Mozer, said that “Speech recognizers are targeted at the vast majority of people on the center of the bell curve. Everyone else is on the edges”.  These systems were created based on the typical voice or speech patterns and, as such, were not developed with the atypical voice in mind.

Although a long way off, researchers are making attempts to develop more inclusive voice recognition systems. But there are serious hurdles to overcome, such as the variation in speech across individuals who stutter and those with other voice ailments. 

What’s been your experience with speech recognition systems? Share your thoughts with us by emailFacebook or Twitter!
Want to know more? Read this article from Scientific American.


Last updated: January 3, 2022