Forecast: Cloud Cover Lifting
Bill Quick

Intel’s offline voice recognition tech could be a Siri-killer | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Devindra Hardawar

While voice recognition has been available on desktops for over a decade, it’s found a new life on mobile devices, where it powers things like Apple’s Siri virtual assistant and Google Now. But to make that platform leap, tech companies have had to rely on cloud processing, which adds significant delays and makes voice commands unavailable without an Internet connection.

Exactly.  And this is the problem with all pure cloud computing efforts.  You’re entirely at the mercy of whatever bandwidth may (or often may not) be available.  My local Whole Foods sports a coffee shop with “free wifi.”  The best speed I’ve ever been able to manage on download is about 1Mb.   Once upon a time I’d have been thrilled with speed like that, but no longer.  In today’s increasingly cloud-oriented (storage, computing, file transfer) world, that’s not bandwidth, that’s the equivalent of two tin cans connected by a string.

The big problem has always been local power and storage.  Those are improving by leaps and bounds.   I’ve got desktop Nuance Naturally Speaking, a full-featured voice recognition system for the desktop set up on my 10 inch tablet.  It works fine.  And it’s not dependent on a lifeline to the cloud.

And this is why I don’t think the pure cloud plays will last, longterm.  They are merely an interim step on the way to a life in which everybody carries around on (or in) their person all the computing power and storage then need to do whatever they want to do.

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Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Forecast: Cloud Cover Lifting — 2 Comments

  1. I think you’re going to see a smoother scaling between the cloud and local storage, with automated and transparent local caching and processing of the stuff you use the most often. Most people don’t care where their stuff is, they just care that it works when they want it. And since most people are technologically illiterate there will always be a market for products that claim to make that happen without requiring any thought or understanding.

    • Well, considering that the Cloud and the State are well-nigh indesinguishable these days (or will be soon), some folks may come to value the ability to impose greater security inherent in personal electronics.

      I know, they’re hacking the shit out of that, too, but other hackers are now fighting back, and beginning to offer intrusion countermeasures electronics.

      Anybody see what I did there?