Bing voice search, now with double speed and added accuracy.

Ever since Apple launched Siri with the iPhone 4S, the average search results on an iPhone ranged from the offensive to the practical. Whatever way you look at it though, Siri did indeed change how we interact with our phones and their search capabilities.

Microsoft followed suit and implemented their own voice recognition functionality in the Windows Phone platform. And while not perfect, the Redmond behemoth has been working hard to improve the service allowing for better reduction of background noise and dialect recognition.

In a new video post, Stefan Weitz and Michael Tjalve – both from the Bing Speech Team – have demoed the latest improvements to the voice search capabilities in Windows Phone 8.

Working with Microsoft Research, the Bing Search Team have come up with a new methodology; Deep Neural Networks, or DNN for short, to provide greater accuracy and speed when using voice search functionality. It’s a new version to the existing ‘Acoustic Model’ already in place in speech recognition. According to Tjalve:

It’s essentially a computational framework or how we process speech within the brain.

All this means that the DNNs are able to learn more quickly and allow Bing voice capabilities to get even close to the way we, as people, recognise speech. This, and improvements to recognising speech patterns, along with being able to block out background noise and ambient sounds have helped improve word error rates by 15 percent.

If you watch the video, at the 1:13 mark, you’ll see an example of how the latency has been reduced in providing quicker results to Bing voice searches. So that’s twice as fast, and more accurate than ever before!

It’s an exciting time, and improvements like this are helping drive the way we interact with our phones and the search services that we use on a daily basis.

Source: Bing Blogs

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21 Comments

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mikesingh said,
Not to mention that Apple also purchased Siri, so it's not like its anything homegrown by Apple...

And MS bought Tellme as well....

Fritzly said,

And MS bought Tellme as well....

TellMe was based on Microsoft Speech technologies. Tellme was an implementation of Microsoft Speech technologies for voice processing over IP.

So Microsoft bought a 'service' using their technology.

Apple on the other hand created neither the service, nor the voice processing, and Siri was at one time even running on the Microsoft speech frameworks.

Microsoft is a technology development company, in addition to the consumer side products and branding.

Didn't Windows Phone 7 come out before the iPhone 4S? If so, wouldn't that mean MS's voice services came out first, and that apple followed suit rather than Microsoft?

A lot of the concepts came from Media Center and metro goes as far back as Encarta I believe. The design ethic slowly morphed into the windows we know and use today. It's crazy thinking about the path they took to get here.

MS, u have come a long way with Bing...
I gave the Lumia 928 a go for a week last month, and must say I was impressed with the Bing Voice search...

Me too. I thought it would be barely noticeable. And then I thought it would only work with Bing. Not too long ago, I was disappointed at how long it took to process what I said. Now, there's no noticeable difference in saying a lot or saying very little. It's just fast.

The power of the cloud, you can have these types of boosts in performance on the server side without any client side tweaking or updating. Good stuff.

GP007 said,
The power of the cloud, you can have these types of boosts in performance on the server side without any client side tweaking or updating. Good stuff.

And something we can look forward to with XBox One...

MindTrickz said,
LOL! Isn't that how every services(search engine, email client, homepage etc. ) are optimized? Server side!

Sure, but are they doing real-time voice recognition to? If you want to knock it down to it's basic form for some reason then sure, you can compare it to other things. Yet at the same time you can't because it's doing more than your average homepage. And how is a email clients performance tied to a server? You can have two different clients accessing the same email account and give you vastly different performance depending on how the client is written. I think you went a little overboard with your examples on that one.

-adrian- said,
so - basically thats the power of client server architecture, right. no need to call it cloud

I don't know why you wouldn't call it cloud, the voice recognition and search in real-time are all being processed on the server (the cloud), in this case Bing. The client is just a simple front end to it, it's not doing much really.

-adrian- said,
so - basically thats the power of client server architecture, right. no need to call it cloud

...because "client-server architecture" just rolls off the tongue so easily.

-adrian- said,
so - basically thats the power of client server architecture, right. no need to call it cloud

Except technically client/server implies a certain level of client side processing, which is not happening, and it not what has been updated.

It is client server, but the 'cloud' processing is what has been updated.

Cloud is accurate.