Microsoft’s speech recognition system hits a new accuracy milestone

Microsoft announced today that its conversational speech recognition system has reached a 5.1% error rate, its lowest so far. This surpasses the 5.9% error rate reached last year by a group of researchers from Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research and puts its accuracy on par with professional human transcribers who have advantages like the ability to listen to text several times.

Both studies transcribed recordings from the Switchboard corpus, a collection of about 2,400 telephone conversations that have been used by researchers to test speech recognition systems since the early 1990s. The new study was performed by a group of researchers at Microsoft AI and Research with the goal of achieving the same level of accuracy as a group of human transcribers who were able to…

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How do you outsmart an 800 lb gorilla?  E-commerce retailers in the two biggest markets – China and the U.S. – grapple with this question every day.

Many assume the e-commerce game is over given the immense success of Amazon and Alibaba (both have $400+B market caps).  Amazon has systematically commoditized product category after product category – books, houseware, electronics, clothing, grocery and more, while Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao platforms have captured market share and popular imagination with millions of SKUs, truly creating a global “everything store.”

But declaring game-over in these markets is a mistake. A careful read of emerging trends reveals rich…

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For its latest trick, watch this Tesla Model X smoke a Lamborghini supercar