Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR): The History, Current Technologies, and Practical Tips

May 27, 2020


Automatic speech recognition (ASR) is a computer technology that is used to identify and process the human voice. It has become ubiquitous with the proliferation of voice services like Google Assistant, Alexa and Siri. There are many uses of ASR beyond these voice-activated, interactive personal assistants. When ASR is used to convert the words a person has spoken into text, it can be a very useful accessibility tool for people with hearing loss. Such uses can include speech-to-text for live, face-to-face conversation, captioning for meetings and telephone conversations, and more.  We’ll take a brief look at the history of ASR before diving into its many uses, examples of the available speech-to-text ASR technology and some practical tips for making the most of using these kinds of applications.


Linda Kozma-Spytek

Linda Kozma-Spytek, M.A., CCC-A

Consultant & Professional Adviser on Technology, Hearing Loss Association of America

Linda Kozma-Spytek is a consultant and professional adviser to HLAA on technology. She currently co-leads the Industry Consumer Alliance for Accessible Technology (ICAAT) project under the auspices of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Technology Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (DHH Tech RERC) at Gallaudet University. Before coming to HLAA, she was a senior... Read More >