Ways to use AI technology in your everyday life


Sid Gutpta | June 29th 2018



There are some basic software tools out there that, with a little creativity, can be used for many different tasks. Microsoft Word for example -- you can use it to take minutes, write notes, make fliers, draw up calendars, and much more. It’s just a blank slate, and you can use that slate however you want. It’s reliable, and you know it can get the job done.

         We can be hesitant towards using AI services because they can sometimes feel like too much, or like they’re only good at doing one specific thing. In this week’s blog article, we’ll be discussing some AI services that are as simple and versatile as a blank slate. On top of that we’ll also discuss ways you can integrate these services into your everyday life.

Transcription speech-to-text


Lectures
         As a student myself, I have certainly been in the situation where I’m in lecture, and I can’t keep up with the content. As a result, instead of slowing down and trying to understand the concept presented, I scramble to transcribe everything that’s being said, and hope to come back to it later after the lecture. After all, I don’t want to miss an important detail mentioned that could be on a test. This habit is echoed by many of my peers, and if you have once been a student I’m sure that you’ve experienced it too. It’s not a good habit to keep, as it has several consequences:

  1. Lectures are usually dependent on the content that was mentioned earlier. For example, a concept introduced at the start could be used to explain another one at the end. By not making an effort to understand a concept early on, you will often face further confusion later as this concept is reused and built upon.
  2. It’s time inefficient. You’re in lecture to understand the material, however this habit brings you to ‘turn your brain off’ and to do the understanding later. It makes more sense to try and understand the concepts as they come up, when you have the opportunity to ask questions or ask your peers. Your word-for-word notes will have to be revised, and you ultimately spend more time trying to understand the material than you need to.
The above are just a few reasons for why you should stop transcribing in lecture and instead focus on understanding the material. However, it happens so often when we fall behind, or when we worry about missing key information. That’s where speech-to-text processing comes in. Record the lecture, and send the audio file to a transcription algorithm to get word-for-word text notes as a fallback. Have the peace of mind that you won’t lose information, and spend more time focusing on understanding the material by letting new AI do the transcription.

Meetings
         There are a lot of places for audio transcripts in meetings. If the meeting is short and simple with no challenging discussion, you can use the transcripts as easy minutes to send out. But even for longer meetings, audio transcripts can help boost productivity. After interviewing over a dozen minute takers ourselves, we’ve found that there are several problems with the minute taking experience that audio transcription services can help address.

  1. Often times when taking minutes, a new thought is mentioned right when you’re in the middle of writing another. By the time you’re ready to record that new thought, the conversation has already moved so far ahead that the idea has been lost. A real-time speech-to-text transcription helps to remedy this problem, as it gives the minute-taker a fallback for when they fall behind like this. Using this service, the minute taker can glance at what was said, and even copy paste it directly into their notes if they need to.
  2. There is also the issue of accountability in meetings that audio transcription can help address. A transcript over minutes can act as a single source of truth that is easy to look back to when faced with accountability concerns. Minutes are sometimes biased, so for meetings that are often reviewed upon, this type of information can be very helpful with keeping everything and everyone secure.

Learning a new language
         When learning a new language, resources like Google translate are very useful. However, these services only take text input, and aren’t useful for speech communication in a new language. Speech-to-text algorithms are now offered in over 12 languages, and more are on the way. With this service you can easily transcribe the audio, and then afterwards feed it to a text translator to assist with understanding a new language. Google is working on a new instant translation feature to make this process easier, which you can check out here.


Computer vision - handwriting to text:


         Now we will talk about using computer vision, specifically picture & handwriting to text translation services.

Data entry:
         If you’re in a business with a lot of data entry, there are many ways you can integrate computer vision services to boost productivity. For example, some people prefer to fill out forms using a pen and paper. For the convenience of this audience, you can have them fill out physical forms which can be scanned later using computer vision technology for use in online databases. Another example is if you’re in a place like a warehouse where there’s a lot of labelling. If you have to record these labels in a computer, then being able to quickly take a picture instead of typing out the data can be a huge convenience that these services can offer.

Backup your notes:
         As a student, I take pictures of my notes and upload them to the cloud, just in case if I lose my binder. Just as easily as I can upload them, I can translate my handwriting to digital text and store the translation in word documents online as well. This makes it easy to search and edit my notes using online web resources, like PowerPoint and Word. This can be a great option if you like to clean up your notes after you write them down!

        Those are just some of the neat ways you can use AI services in your life. Below, you can find articles which will redirect you to some speech-to-text and computer vision applications to use.

         Also, you can find another blog article with interesting apps that use AI to solve more specific real world problems. So feel free to take a look at that.

         Thank you for stopping by!






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