Speech generation and recognition have come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago that we were in a breakfast place and endured 30 minutes of a teenaged girl screaming “CALL JUSTIN TAYLOR!” into her phone repeatedly, with no results. Now speech on phones is good enough you might never use the keyboard unless you want privacy. Every time we ask Google or Siri a question and get an answer it makes us feel like we are living in Star Trek.
[Smcameron] probably feels the same way. He’s been working on a Star Trek-inspired bridge simulator called “Space Nerds in Space” for some time. He decided to test out the current state of Linux speech support by adding speech commands and response to it. You can see the results in the video below.
For speech output, he used pico2wave and espeak. There’s also Festival, but he couldn’t get that one working. He also used PocketSphinx for speech recognition and provides information on how to pretrain the system for words to make it respond better. In the video, you can see that it isn’t perfect, but it is pretty good.
The other part of the equation is recognizing natural language and [Smcameron] discusses that, as well. If this were a real starship, you might need to do a little work on the user interface to be sure you heard the right thing before taking some drastic action (“I said: ‘blow warp drive’ not ‘go warp five’!”).