Simple new voice tech could operate home appliances

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Household appliances and other devices could be operated with simple voice commands using highly efficient new artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

Developed by researchers at the University of Waterloo and explainable AI company DarwinAI, the technology enables the creation of low-cost, low-power, self-contained speech recognition software that is tailored to specific tasks.

Unlike existing voice assistant systems such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, the deep-learning AI software could run everything from televisions to thermostats without connections to cloud computing.

“Cost and efficiency are two of the biggest bottlenecks to the widespread adoption of machine-learning AI,” said Alexander Wong, a systems design engineering professor at Waterloo. “This technology significantly addresses those issues and enables a new class of voice assistants for everyday devices with energy-efficiency needs.”

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