Voice Control Everywhere

Voice Control Everywhere

Published By: MIT News, 2/13/2017

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A chip designed by MIT researchers may reduce the level of energy required to use speech recognition. This dedicated, application-specific speech-recognition chip will use up to an estimated 99% less energy, compared to current technology. The researchers hope to provide an energy-efficient solution that allows users to interact with their small electronic devices using speech instead of touch-based user interfaces.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level of Article: 14

Content Advisory

The later part of the article contains a lot of technical content. It is interesting and well-explained if you want to delve into memory allocation, but it is not important for understanding the impact of the innovation.

Extended Discussion Questions

  • What are some potential wider impacts of improving the energy performance of small electronic devices that use speech recognition?
    • What might be possible with these improvements that isn’t possible with current energy-hogging speech technology?
  • Why might you want to interact with your electronic devices using your voice?
    • If you have a device you can give voice commands to, how does this make it easier to use?
    • Is voice interaction more or less important for a smartphone versus a single-purpose device like a stereo or thermostat?
    • Are there particular people or situations that might particularly benefit from having voice-operable devices?
  • What are some of the major differences for the user between on-board processing and cloud-based processing in terms of speech recognition?
    • What concerns might a user have about transmitting speech data to a cloud-processing service?

Relating This Story to the CSP Curriculum Framework

Global Impact Learning Objectives:

  • LO 7.1.1 Explain how computing innovations affect communication, interaction, and cognition.
  • LO 7.3.1 Analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.

Global Impact Essential Knowledge:

  • EK 7.1.1J Sensor networks facilitate new ways of interacting with the environment and with physical systems.
  • EK 7.3.1G Privacy and security concerns arise in the development and use of computational systems and artifacts.

Other CSP Big Ideas:

  • Idea 2 Abstraction

Banner Image:Network Visualization – Violet – Offset Crop“, derivative work by ICSI. New license: CC BY-SA 4.0. Based on “Social Network Analysis Visualization” by Martin Grandjean. Original license: CC BY-SA 3.0.

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