IBM Out-Watsons Watson PR
March 15, 2017
I noted that IBM can store data in an atom. I marveled at IBM’s helping with arthritis research. I withdrew my life savings to bet on IBM Watson’s predictions for the next big thing. Wow. Busy that Watson smart software is. Versatile too.
What I found interesting is that IBM has announced that it has knocked the cover off the ball with its speech recognition capabilities. Too bad Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nuance think they know how to perform this Star Trek-type function trick. Clueless pretenders if the IBM assertion is accurate.
Navigate to another IBM “real” journalistic revelation in “Why IBM’s Speech Recognition Breakthrough Maters for AI and IoT.”
IBM recently announced that its speech recognition system achieved an industry record of 5.5% word error rate, coming closer to human parity.
Yep, an announcement. Remember. Google’s speech recognition is on lots of mobile phones. Dear old Microsoft, despite the missteps of Tay, landed a deal with the dazed and confused UK National Health Service. And Amazon. Well, there is that Alexa Echo and Dot product line. And IBM? Well, an announcement.
The write up reveals that a blog post makes clear that IBM is improving its speech recognition. As proof, the write up points out that IBM’s error rate declined. IBM does that with its revenues, so maybe this is a characteristic of the Big Blue machine.
But I particularly enjoyed this bit of analysis:
Reaching human-level performance in AI tasks such as speech or object recognition remains a scientific challenge, according to Yoshua Bengio, leader of the University of Montreal’s Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) Lab, as quoted in the blog post. Standard benchmarks do not always reveal the variations and complexities of real data, he added. “For example, different data sets can be more or less sensitive to different aspects of the task, and the results depend crucially on how human performance is evaluated, for example using skilled professional transcribers in the case of speech recognition,” Bengio said.
Isn’t this the outfit which Microsoft relies upon for some of its speech wizardry. So what exactly is IBM doing? Let’s ask Alexa?
Stephen E Arnold, March 15, 2017