How voice assistants are changing our lives
Updated: Jan 13
Changing and improving human lifestyles and environments has been a priority for technology since its inception. The world is constantly evolving due to technology, and with these ongoing changes comes a more relaxed way of life.
Vehicles, one of the biggest technological developments we've witnessed, are proof of this. With this, we can travel great distances in such a short amount of time. Now, it appears that voice recognition technology will be the next advancement that will revolutionize our way of life. Learn all there is to know about how voice assistants are changing our lives below.
What Is a Voice Assistant?
A voice assistant is a virtual assistant that helps its users by using speech recognition, natural language processing, and speech synthesis to take action. This assistant can convert spoken commands from humans into machine commands, which it can then use to complete the necessary tasks.
The more you interact with a voice assistant, the better it can understand your preferences and tailor its actions to meet your needs. This learning process is what makes voice assistants so great, and their rich history is the reason for the ongoing advancements.
The History of Voice Assistants
It may be hard to believe, but the first voice assistant wasn’t Siri. Although they weren't beneficial initially, voice AI has existed for 60 years. The first digital speech recognition tool was the IBM Shoebox, which was created in 1961.
The IBM Shoebox required the user to speak into a microphone, translating voice sounds into electrical impulses. The device could only recognize and respond to ten digits from 0-9 and six commands like "plus, minus."
Then, in 1990, Dragon Dictate released the first speech recognition program for home PCs. For $6,000, the user could speak to the computer one word at a time, pausing after each word to let the computer process it before continuing.
Later in the 1990s, both IBM and Dragon would improve on their earlier work. The first intelligent voice assistant, Simon, was created by IBM. While Dragon NaturallySpeaking was more affordable at $695 and could understand continuous speech at a speed of up to 100 words per minute.
The SRI International Artificial Intelligence Center was the original Siri, which was made available as an app in 2010. Apple bought it two months later and included it in the launch of the iPhone 4s.
After their success with Simon, IBM didn’t stop their progression. 2011 saw the introduction of IBM Watson, which defeated real people in a Jeopardy game. Watson is currently among the most intelligent and naturally speaking computer systems out there.
Before you knew it, voice assistants started to appear everywhere. It didn't take long for Google Now, Microsoft's Cortana, Amazon's Alexa, and other conversational AI to usher in the voice assistant revolution.
Why Voice Assistants Are Essential
Voice assistants will be helpful to you if you lead a hectic life filled with stress and multitasking. From afar, it might not seem like a necessary tool for life, but once you start using it, you'll see how much simpler and less stressful life can be.
With how easily accessible voice assistants are, you will find yourself using them for everything. They are on our smartphones, our speakers, inside our vehicles, and can be all over our homes. Additionally, voice assistants are used in various other settings, including retail, education, healthcare, and telecommunications.
So many people use voice assistants. Here are a few of the many advantages they provide to help you understand why.
“Assistant” is in the name for a reason. If you have ever wondered why 45 million people in the United States alone utilize voice assistants for practically all their needs, then here are the many benefits they offer.
The first thing that comes to mind when using a voice assistant is identifying and listening to music. Who doesn’t love music? We use this for everything, whether it’s just for background noise, in movies, or anything else. Whether you’ve had a song stuck in your head but can’t seem to remember the name or need music to fit your mood, your virtual assistant can do it all.
You can also use a voice assistant to get updates on the latest world news. This can be anything from notifying you when your favorite team is playing, weather reports, or the ongoing chaos on the internet in general.
You can use a voice assistant to check your bank balance. Some banks give you online access to your accounts to check your balance and inquire about transactions. Additionally, it enables you to create a schedule that will keep your day-to-day operations well-organized.
Voice assistants are beneficial for those with disabilities. The voice search function will make life easier whether you are visually impaired, elderly, or disabled.
Thanks to voice assistants, you can have a real-life smart home. Connecting your home's security cameras to them can increase security and give you a live feed from the cameras from any location.
You can also control all the smart appliances in your home with voice commands. Everything from lights to televisions can be switched on and off with ease. So, there are many benefits that voice assistants offer. However, beyond what we have come to find out, voice assistance can and will be so much more.
The Evolution of Voice Assistants
Even though voice technology is still in its infancy, it has already significantly impacted how we live our daily lives. In the future, voice assistants will help people with disabilities communicate more effectively. Voice assistants will also be capable of voice-based disease diagnosis.
Voice assistants can help with a variety of tasks. You can either have a fully functional smart home or use features to play background music. They are an essential tool because they reduce the time spent multitasking and clear the way for you to concentrate on the task at hand.