Where is the real value in the audio chain?

An article written by Anne-Françoise Pelé  for EETIMES – The emergence of silicon-based microphones has reshaped the audio landscape. But in the coming years, market research firm Yole Dévelopment is convinced that artificial intelligence will lead the market evolution and transformation. 

Conversation is natural and that’s why it is becoming the primary interface for human-machine interaction. Voice-based personal assistants (VPAs) are growing in popularity in smartphones, smart speakers, smart watches, wireless earbuds, cars, smart TVs and their remote controls. There are even trash cans that now integrate voice recognition. The adoption curve will grow in the future, and the real value resides in high audio quality and an understanding of the environment around the microphone.

For Yole Développement (Lyon, France), audio is the next segment to be invaded by artificial intelligence (AI). 

How AI has found its voice
Voice-based VPAs are today’s main driver of the audio industry. Based on traditional components of audio systems such as audio codecs, microphones, microspeakers, and audio amplifiers, they also use AI to compute and analyze voice data. Computing enables complex audio functions such as speech recognition and source localization. It is performed either in the cloud or at the edge in consumer devices. Analyzing, which demands high processing power and access to a lot of data, is executed in the cloud. 

“The added-value of AI is for the natural language processing,” said Dimitrios Damianos, Technology & Market analyst in the photonics and sensing division at Yole. “The voice is a more natural way to interact with the machine. You don’t have to use a keyboard. You don’t have to use your hands. You just use your voice.” For that, however, a lot of processing needs to be done to understand what users are speaking about, their language and what they mean. “AI is adding the value of decoding and helping our communication with our devices.” 

Asked about the fast penetration of VPAs, Damianos attributed it to their convenience and efficiency. But, of course, “What we believe and are seeing is that big tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft (collectively known as GAFAM) try to push these VPAs because there is a real value in the data they extract.”… Full article

Source: https://www.eetimes.com

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