The ability to communicate with each other using spoken words is probably one of the most defining characteristics of human beings, one that distinguishes our species from the rest of the living world. Indeed, speech is considered by most people to be the most natural means of transferring thoughts, ideas, directions, and emotions from one person to another. While the written word, in the form of texts and letters, may have been the origin of modern civilization as we know it, talking and listening is a much more interactive medium of communication, as this allows two persons (or a person and a machine, as we will see in this book) to communicate with each other not only instantaneously but also simultaneously.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the recording, playback, and communication of human voice were the main objective of several early electrical systems. Microphones, loudspeakers, and telephones emerged out of this desire to capture and transmit information in the form of speech signals. Such primitive “speech processing” systems gradually evolved into more sophisticated electronic products that made extensive use of transistors, diodes, and other discrete components. The development of integrated circuits (ICs) that combined multiple discrete components together into individual silicon chips led to a tremendous growth of consumer electronic products and voice communications equipment. The size and reliability of these systems were enhanced to the point where homes and offices could widely use such equipment.
KeywordsSpeech Signal Digital Signal Processor Discrete Component Voice Command Consumer Electronic Product
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