Computer Discussion

| December 22, 2015

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#1 (rog est)

Speech recognition technology is great in the instance that you are trying to guide yourself through a menu of options but don’t want to

remove the cell phone you are using from your ear in order to make you selection. Simply being able to say “Customer Service” or “Tech

Support” like I do when I call Verizon about a problem with my phone is far better than actually pulling the phone off my ear hitting the

button to bring up the number pad and then selecting the number I need.

In contrast it is not good if you’re calling you bank for account information and the system asks, “Please speak your account number.” If

you’re in a crowed place, do you really want people hearing and making note of something so sensitive as your account number? I think

speech recognition must be limited to certain services and cannot or should not work in all situations.

#2 (jo dha)

Speech recognition is a great goal for virtually every telephonic menu system, as it allows the user to interact with the system using

natural language, as opposed to using the key pad to convert their desires into a tone that the system will understand. A great example

of a good use for speech recognition in a telephonic system would be calling a retail store to check if an item is in stock. Currently,

many stores require you to listen to a rather lengthy menu before asking you to press the button on your key pad that corresponds to your

choices. Sometimes the customer may not know the exact name of the department that they need to call, and so end up pressing a button

that they think is correct, only to find out that department has nothing to do with the product that they are inquiring about. By using

speech recognition, the customer says the name of the department that they wish to speak with (which may not be an actual department in

the store), and the system can determine which department would be best suited based on the terminology used. There will still be mis-

directions, but by not limited the customer to a small, predefined list that may not fit every scenario, this could potentially be


Speech recognition can be taken too far, though, as one of the primary differences between touch-tone menus and speech recognition menus

is that of privacy. If a customer is calling a bank to find out information about their account, using a speech recognition menu to relay

that information is not secure, as anybody standing around that customer could easily overhear their account number, and/or other

information. If the touch-tone menu is used, though, it becomes much more difficult, for somebody around to detect that information,

especially if the customer is using even a small amount of caution, like shielding the key pad.

Overall, speech recognition is a good idea, especially in cases where the information being relayed is not sensitive or personal. In the

cases where the information could potentially cause problems if it were gathered by an outside entity, touch-tone menu systems make much

more sense. Finally, one other piece that still has some work to go before speech recognition menus truly come into their own is that of

perfecting the natural language processing algorithms used to recognize the speech. Until that happens, frustrated customers will

continue to swear at their phones, which often results in being transferred to a human operator (Gayle, 2012).

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