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The Apps Admin Blog

Can You Hear Me Now? You Can with Google Cloud's Speech Recognition API

  • March 13, 2018

google-speech-recognition-parrotIn 2017, the rise of artificial intelligence became more significant than ever. For the first time, machine learning seemed to really enter the mainstream world, with everything from chatbot solutions, to intelligent systems that could assess and respond to context and sentiment in customer conversations. With progress like this already being made, it seems safe to assume that 2018 will be the year when the machine learning strategy really takes off.

As many business owners know, the more you understand about your customers, the more competitive your company can become. In a world where experience is the only true differentiator for many brands, the easiest way to understand what your clients need from you is to learn from their behaviors, actions, and even their speech. Now, the Google Cloud Platform gives you the opportunity to do just that, with your very own Speech Recognition API.

This easy-to-use yet innovative solution means that Google customers can get to the bottom of what their customers are really saying. In other words, it's your chance to truly read between the lines of client conversations.


Introducing the Google Cloud Speech Recognition API

The GCP Speech API hasn't been around for very long - in fact, it was only launched in 2016. However, countless companies have already begun to embrace this solution as an easy way to boost speech recognition solutions for call centre routing, voice activated commands and a whole lot more. Google has been able to use the responses they've gained from early users to update and improve the system over time, which means that the Cloud Speech API you get today is truly the best version.

The easiest way to understand the Google Cloud Speech model is to think of it as a feature that allows you to convert your audio conversations into easy-to-assess, and easy-to-store text. Using the insights of powerful machine learning strategies, the API can recognize more than 110 different languages, so you don't have to worry about finding a system that works for a dispersed customer network.

With Google Speech, you can simply transcribe the speech of the people you speak to in your organization, enabling command-and-control in voice, make the most of your microphone, and a whole lot more. You can even integrate the system with your Google Cloud Storage, using the same technology Google taps into to create its own products.


How Does The Google Speech API Work?

The Google Cloud Platform is built around the desire for innovation, and the Speech API is no different. The system comes with a REST interface which you can access easily from a simple and effective interface. To manage large amounts of data at once, you can enjoy batch processing solutions that work from the moment you provide the audio file. All you need to do is tell the API what format you want to transcribe, and it will give you the best text transcription possible, complete with top-of-the-line accuracy.

It's even possible to ask the Speech API to return multiple alternative options for your transcription, so you can see the variances between the best-matching assessments. Additionally, to improve the accuracy with which the system processes your audio, you can also add sentences or words into the requests as text, which informs the machine learning algorithm what kind of data it should be looking out for. This is particularly helpful with disrupted or noisy audio when domain-specific words are essential.

Just some of the features you can expect to get if you download the Google Cloud Platform Speech API include:

  • Automatic Speech Recognition: Perhaps a given for any speech API, the Google Cloud Platform can automatically learn speech patterns as it becomes accustomed to your company. This means that it can easily power applications with speech transcription and voice search solutions.

  • Pre-recorded and Real-time audio support: Capturing important audio input through the microphone in a specific application, the GCP Voice API can provide complete support for multiple audio encodings, including PCMU, AMR, and FLAC.

  • Global Vocabulary: When it comes to understanding language, there's no machine learning system out there with a broader database than Google. The API uses the same speech recognition attributes you'd expect from the Google Translate feature, which means that there are more than 110 languages to choose from.

  • Noise management: The Google API can handle the complex process of extracting important information from noisy environments, so you don't need to use extra software to get rid of unwanted noise.

  • Streaming recognition: For real-time voice solutions, the Google API can return results while someone is still speaking.

  • Content filtering: If you want to make sure that profanity and inappropriate content doesn't show up in your results, you can filter content that's not right for you in certain languages.

  • Word Hints: You can customize your speech recognition solution to the needs of a specific context by providing a set of phrases and words more likely to appear in the conversation.

  • Integrated APIs:   Make the most of your full GCP ecosystem by uploading audio documents into Google Cloud Storage.

The Next Step in Machine Learning

As experts in the world of search and machine learning, you can trust Google to deliver an API that's the best of the best. The Speech API applies some of the most advanced neural network algorithms to user audio, to ensure that you're getting the most accurate transcriptions possible. What's more, because the whole system is built on artificial intelligence, it's constantly learning the more you use your Google products.

If you're looking for an immediate way to respond to context with a customer, or assess their needs faster, then the Speech API can stream results to your agents immediately - even if the results are just from partial recognition. You can even set the system up to return recognized text in the form of an easy-to-assess file.

The pricing system is friendly too, as you only ever pay for what you use, rather than picking a pre-set package. The Cloud Speech API is priced for every fifteen seconds of audio that's processed after you've moved above the free 60-minute tier. What's more, the Speech API supports any device capable of sending a gRPC or REST request, including QPCs, phones, tablets, and many other devices too!

To learn more about Speech, or get started with the next stage of machine learning, drop us a line at Coolhead Tech.

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