Technology

EchoSpeech: The Cutting-Edge AI Solution for Silent Speech Recognition

Abhinav Raj

Abhinav Raj, Writer
@uxconnections

Enabled by acoustic sensing and powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Cornell University’s EchoSpeech interface is a breakthrough innovation in silent speech recognition. 

For most people, eyeglasses are a way to see the world around them with clarity—however, Cornell’s researchers have developed a way to outfit traditional eyeglasses to communicate with other users by recognizing silent speech patterns. 

EchoSpeech, powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and acoustic sensing technology can pick up on 31 distinct ‘unvocalized’ commands from the user by reading their lip and mouth movements. 

The wearable interface works by utilizing a pair of miniature microphones and a set of speakers mounted on the glass frame of the spectacles to deliver and receive audio input. Enabled by this low-power acoustic sensing system, EchoSpeech glasses can recognize silent commands which can be executed through a smartphone. 

The AI-powered interface relies on an AI-sonar system to transmit and receive sound waves, which are then deciphered by a deep learning algorithm to construe commands. 

The silent speech recognition interface has been detailed in the paper “EchoSpeech: Continuous Silent Speech Recognition on Minimally-obtrusive Eyewear Powered by Acoustic Sensing”. According to the study, EchoSpeech is successful in identifying real-time commands with an accuracy of 95%. 

(image: RF Studio on Pexels)

“For people who cannot vocalize sound, this silent speech technology could be an excellent input for a voice synthesizer. It could give patients their voices back,” commented Ruidong Zhang, a doctoral student in Information Science at the university and the lead author of the paper. 

The silent speech recognition technology solves the privacy concerns around using voice assistants in public spaces, which, according to the researchers, significantly affects user perceptions of voice-enabled technologies and their willingness to use them in their everyday lives. 

The innovation may mark the first step towards wearable artificial intelligence tools that unobtrusively help a user perform functions on their smartphones without having to handle a mobile device—thus greatly enhancing user experience. Incidentally, this also takes accessibility and inclusivity in technology a step further by providing speech-impaired users with an alternative method to input commands and navigate through the digital age conveniently. 

The future of wearable AI is shaping new human-computer interactions, with each innovation adding value to the world of technology. 

What are your thoughts on wearable AI devices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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