What is speech recognition?
Speech recognition is an interdisciplinary field that combines computer science and linguistics and provides machines with the ability to recognize human speech and translate it into text.
Why is it important?
Speech recognition is vital for machines that work with spoken languages and sounds to be able to process and analyze such data. Since modern models cannot yet work with sounds only, machines need to translate them into text. Afterward, existing and good-working NLP technologies can be used to analyze it.
Virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa are examples of machines that have an integrated speech recognition system. When they hear us giving them a command, they first need to obtain a transcript of what we have said and only then execute the command.