New Danish speech recogniser can be customised with specialist language
The Danish company Dictus has built a new speech recognizer, which makes it possible to develop Danish language models. This makes the speech-to-text programs useful in more specific areas than before.
If the clinic is late writing records, or if the director is missing his secretary, a "speech-to-text program" can help to get the spoken word down in writing.
Companies, hospitals, schools and others have for years saved time and keystrokes by using a speech recognition program. The programs have relieved the writing work, but they have never been 100 per cent accurate.
Now, the Danish company Dictus has developed a new speech recognizer that is designed to the Danish language. It can be updated with all the technical terms needed in the desired area.
- Most people today know Apple and Google's speech recognizers, and to some degree, they work fine. However, in the healthcare sector, in primary schools, or for summery writing, the international systems are not accurate enough to recognize the Danish technical language. Therefore, we have developed a full Danish solution - Dictus SUN, which stands for Speech UNlimited, says Jens Otto Kjærum, CEO at Dictus, who developed the speech-to-text program.
Tested and approved by the Danish Parliament
Dictus is used by many large Danish companies in fields of media, health and distribution. The Danish Parliament, Folketinget, has used speech recognition programs for documenting the activity in the Parliament for ten years. In the spring of 2019, the Parliament tested Dictus SUN in all their documenting.
- We had some challenges with our old system. It is voice dependent, which means that the system needs to know each user's voice, and a new employee cannot use it without adaptation. Besides, the Danish language updates are not prioritized by the US provider. It can become a problem as the language is constantly evolving, and there is a need for the speech-to-text system to follow, says Michael Ejstrup, Editor at The Office of the Folketing Hansard, who writes and publishes the official reports of the plenary proceedings in the Parliament.
The language is evolving
It is essential for the administration at the Danish Parliament that the supplier of the speech recognition system focuses on the Danish language and its developments.
- Democracy takes place in the parliament, and the communication must be recorded accurately. The politicians use the terms from many fields, and the system must be adaptable. An example, is the Danish word snaps (Danish for brandy), which is spelt like the English word snaps (photos), which the Danish language has adopted, says Michael Ejstrup.
Dictus SUN will be put to the test at the Finance Act negotiations in September. Here, the speech recognizer will be challenged as the meetings contain numbers, paragraphs and legal terms.
Can even create a vocabulary
Large foreign companies have built former Danish speech-to-text programs. Users can choose between a limited number of different vocabulary packages, depending on which industry the system should be used for. With the new model, Dictus has control over both software and language. Now Dictus can develop the system into several industries that have not previously been able to use speech recognition.
- We have used artificial intelligence to build language models for Dictus SUN. More than 100 million words have been added to the Danish Parliament's language package. They have been taken from the last 11 years' minutes from the meetings of the parliament, says Jens Otto Kjærum.
Dictus is a member of Welfare Tech