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State Of Speech Recognition Tech In The Cockpit?  
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Posted (10 months 9 hours ago) and read 4308 times:

We have seen a proliferation of Siri-like speech recognition software in the consumer markets, and I was wondering if the technology has become reliable enough to use in civil or military aircraft. My guess is that it is not sufficiently reliable, but wonder if there are non-critical areas where speech rec might help.

Thanks for any comments and hope this is not the wrong forum to post.

47 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 814 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 months 8 hours ago) and read 4244 times:

Oh, that would be a riot! Can you imagine...?

"If you would like to put the landing gear up press 1 now."...."escuchar este mensaje en español pulse 2"


User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (10 months 7 hours ago) and read 4218 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 1):

LOL!

Humor aside, it seems like a technology with potential to reduce crew workload and reduce fidgeting with knobs and dials at critical times.


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (10 months 7 hours ago) and read 4204 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 2):
Humor aside, it seems like a technology with potential to reduce crew workload and reduce fidgeting with knobs and dials at critical times.

Limited potential. The problem is not so much the speech recognition itself (though that would have to advance significantly beyond what we have now in order to be viable) but what that recognition is going to, and how there would be a feedback loop between the pilot and that system.

There's not that much fiddling with knobs and dials during critical times anyway.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineoly720man From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 6689 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (10 months 4 hours ago) and read 4120 times:

In the sad light of AF447, "recovery" may be a useful command.... if the plane could sense where it was and put itself in the appropriate attitude and throttle setting.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what else. You could have "flaps", "wheels" "lights" or things like that, but it would add another sense of detachment from what goes on. At least if you're talking to another pilot who's in the loop you're probably reasonably sure they'll respond appropriately. Saying "flaps" and then waiting for the computer to digest this and act would be a distraction when you don't need distractions.

Added to which, would every pilot have to talk to the computer before a flight to train it? Or have a USB key with the words already filed in computerspeak?



wheat and dairy can screw up your brain
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4038 times:

Quoting oly720man (Reply 4):
In the sad light of AF447, "recovery" may be a useful command.... if the plane could sense where it was and put itself in the appropriate attitude and throttle setting.

The second part of that is the hard part. But even if such a thing were possible, why tie it to voice recognition when you could tie it to a single button on the panel? No risk of not being understood that way.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17003 posts, RR: 67
Reply 6, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4031 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
Quoting oly720man (Reply 4):
In the sad light of AF447, "recovery" may be a useful command.... if the plane could sense where it was and put itself in the appropriate attitude and throttle setting.

The second part of that is the hard part. But even if such a thing were possible, why tie it to voice recognition when you could tie it to a single button on the panel? No risk of not being understood that way

Quite. I am reminded of the F/A-18, where if the plane goes out of control arrows on the displays tell the pilot where to position the stick. No need for voice commands.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 3):
Limited potential. The problem is not so much the speech recognition itself (though that would have to advance significantly beyond what we have now in order to be viable) but what that recognition is going to, and how there would be a feedback loop between the pilot and that system.

Thanks for your comments - I take it you do not see a role for speech rec in the control loop even if if the hit rate became high enough.

Quoting oly720man (Reply 4):
Added to which, would every pilot have to talk to the computer before a flight to train it? Or have a USB key with the words already filed in computerspeak?

Today's command-oriented speech recognition systems don't need training, like the telephony and GPS systems that ask you to interact via voice.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17003 posts, RR: 67
Reply 8, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4003 times:

I do think that speech recognition will enter the cockpit at some point, but it will do so in military aircraft first. There tends to be more time critical stuff in combat.

Unless we jump directly to neural interfaces that is.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4385 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3938 times:

'i'm sorry I don't understand your answer'



'I'm sorry I don't understand your answer'



And repeat 100 times.



Not a good idea..



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3936 times:

How will it handle people who speak with a different accent.
I've noticed that problem exists.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4896 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3895 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 10):

Good point. While you can train your personal device, it would be a problem when you have crew rotation and diversity.

Do you have speech on your smartphone, does it work well?


User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3856 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 7):
I take it you do not see a role for speech rec in the control loop even if if the hit rate became high enough.

IMO, the time it would take to verify that the speech recognition has worked as intended is similar to or greater than the time it would take to just do whatever you wanted the speech recognition to do. And doing it yourself will provide better feedback.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17003 posts, RR: 67
Reply 13, posted (9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3826 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 9):
'I'm sorry I don't understand your answer'

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I cannot do that..."



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineokie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2989 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (9 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3792 times:

My main issue would be that voice recognition would pick up inadvertent conversation between CA, F/O, FA or a jumpseater that would not be an actual command.

I think I will go over to a friends pad and "Crash" tonight.

I am going to "Go Around" to some bars tonight.

Mind out of the gutter now.

Just use your imagination.

Okie


User currently offlinerwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2316 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (9 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 3759 times:
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While I don't think speech recognition is going to be ready for the cockpit soon (both maturity and environmental issues, like high cockpit noise, are going to be issues), but there are areas where it will be easier to apply than others. Notably things that are not an immediate safety issue if they're not done quite right. Many communication and navigation tasks fall into that category. Consider: "Raccoon: comm one, Chicago center!" or "Dreamy: navigation, show next segment!" Things where keeping the pilots eyes and hands on the primary tasks (rather than flipping switches) would be a good thing. Those could be an advantage in strong turbulence as well, when moving a lot of small controls becomes more difficult (or even touch screens, as we're starting to see now).

User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 3701 times:

Quoting rwessel (Reply 15):
Things where keeping the pilots eyes and hands on the primary tasks (rather than flipping switches) would be a good thing.

But the times when things that aren't immediate safety issues if they're not done right get done is a relatively low-workload period. So there's plenty of attention capability that can be used to do things.

Just because something seems cool doesn't mean it should go into a product. The auto industry has been besieged by all sorts of horribly-implemented user interface items because the marketing department wants this and that whiz-bang feature that will make people think they're driving an advanced and/or futuristic car. But this isn't the auto industry - if something is going to go into a cockpit, it should go into a cockpit because it provides more benefits than the extra complexity it's going to inevitably introduce. In the case of voice recognition, I just don't see it.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 15):
Those could be an advantage in strong turbulence as well, when moving a lot of small controls becomes more difficult (or even touch screens, as we're starting to see now).

I've never had a problem manipulating controls in turbulence. I've never tried to use a cockpit touchscreen in turbulence, but I would very much hope that the avionics designers thought about that during the design process.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined Apr 2012, 303 posts, RR: 44
Reply 17, posted (9 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3643 times:

The benefit of speach recognition would be to gain a couple milliseconds or make handling easier in adverse conditions.
However, as Mir pointed out, the time gain would be negated by the need to wait for feedback and confirm the order, as there is an additonnal communication transfer from the pilot to the machine. And again as Mir said, handling enhancement would be marginal.
On the other hand, the system would have to work against the noise background, accents, mispronounciations, stressed pilots with distorted voices, ambiguities and parasitic speach (casual chit chat). Also, it's easy to figure out how to transmit a command when there is a button with a tag right in front of you. With speach recognition the pilot has to memorize all the commands ; not a problem in most cases, but it could be an issue in a high stress environment. So I figure the buttons would have to stay, and there is no gain in terms of cockpit layout.

I just don't see how the benefits could possibly become significant enough to justify the amount of issues and risks. But that's for cockpit interfaces.
Maybe maintenance applications could make good use of it ? The background noise factor could be even more of a problem, though.


Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
I do think that speech recognition will enter the cockpit at some point, but it will do so in military aircraft first. There tends to be more time critical stuff in combat.

And as the time critical stuff can mean life or death, the risk of mis-recognition of a voice command may be acceptable on a fighter. On an airliner, I'd guess not.
And military aircraft sometimes fly in extreme conditions in terms of accelerations and attitude, impeding the movement to the switches and buttons. Not so true for an airliner



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Unless we jump directly to neural interfaces that is.
Mitchell Gant for the win !  

The funny thing is, he has a super duper neural interface to control the advanced high performance weapons, but he still has to punch in the numbers for his nav system   
Accent doesn't seem to be a problem though...






One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21530 posts, RR: 55
Reply 18, posted (9 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 3633 times:

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 17):
And as the time critical stuff can mean life or death, the risk of mis-recognition of a voice command may be acceptable on a fighter. On an airliner, I'd guess not.
And military aircraft sometimes fly in extreme conditions in terms of accelerations and attitude, impeding the movement to the switches and buttons. Not so true for an airliner

The biggest difference in my mind is the fact that fighters have the potential to be flying in situations where the pilot needs to have both hands on the controls for an extended period of time, making pushing buttons difficult. That's not true of airliners.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17003 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3608 times:

Quoting airmagnac (Reply 17):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 8):
Unless we jump directly to neural interfaces that is.
Mitchell Gant for the win !  

The funny thing is, he has a super duper neural interface to control the advanced high performance weapons, but he still has to punch in the numbers for his nav system   
Accent doesn't seem to be a problem though...

As I recall, he had to "think in Russian". One of the reasons they chose Gant was that he was fluent in the language.

Loved that movie when I was a kid! 



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineairmagnac From Germany, joined Apr 2012, 303 posts, RR: 44
Reply 20, posted (9 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3547 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 19):
Loved that movie when I was a kid!

I still do ! Mind you, I'm still a kid when it comes to these movies...   



One "oh shit" can erase a thousand "attaboys".
User currently offlinetb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1577 posts, RR: 9
Reply 21, posted (9 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

So you say something in the cockpit and it gets done? They've had that technology for decades, it is called an FE! Oh wait, they don't make those models anymore.


Too lazy to work, too scared to steal!
User currently offlinesturmovik From India, joined May 2007, 509 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3476 times:

When we move to single pilot operations (and its a when, not if) a lot of the functions of the FO will be part of the automation. One of the possible approaches being thought about for flight deck design in this case is a 'virtual pilot' or 'automation assistant' of sorts. IMO, voice recognition will most likely be a part of the flight deck in such a scenario. It certainly is being actively researched.

Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
I've never had a problem manipulating controls in turbulence. I've never tried to use a cockpit touchscreen in turbulence, but I would very much hope that the avionics designers thought about that during the design process.

In my opinion after having tried out some early concepts in lab conditions(not actual flight), the first generation of cockpit touchscreens will most likely be crap, but not for the reasons you might think. Tons of concepts have been developed to address the problems of hand stabilization and input error reduction when using touchscreens in turbulence and high vibration environments, and some of them actually work.

Quoting tb727 (Reply 21):
So you say something in the cockpit and it gets done? They've had that technology for decades, it is called an FE! Oh wait, they don't make those models anymore.

    



'What's it doing now?'
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 23, posted (9 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

Quoting comorin (Reply 11):

Do you have speech on your smartphone, does it work well?

Exactly.....I use an Iphone and a voice activated handsfree...and it seems to respond to an american or east asian accent, not an Indian one  



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5492 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (9 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3302 times:

Handy product, the VoiceFlight," a speech-driven device that loads a flight plan into Garmin 430/530 navigator.

Not much call for it here in Texas, where most clearances are simple, usually a DP, a waypoint or two any a STAR, or even direct; but in the northeast, lots of Victor Airways with lots of twists, turns and waypoints, a voice-activated clearance-entry system can save a lot of knob-twisting and button-pushing.

Www.VoiceFlight.com



...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
25 Max Q : Yes, I definitely prefer that TB ! Best wishes
26 CaptainKramer : I remember reading an article a while back, it was in either Aviation Week or Flight International that an Australian Software Firm, Adacel was develo
27 plebbin : After skimming through the comments, it seems most of the comments are directed at using voice to control the aircraft. What I haven't heard is how vo
28 n6238p : Call up Lockheed Martin flight service and tell me how far we've come with voice recognition software. BRIEFER im sorry can you repeat that BRIEFER im
29 Post contains images Starlionblue : I know you meant "alerted", but your phrasing is much funnier.
30 jetwet1 : At this point in time my car cannot even call the correct person when I ask it to, there is no way I would step foot on a plane that has voice recogni
31 Starlionblue : I don't think this argument holdswater. You might not step into a car with an autopilot either but you have no problem getting on a plane with one. A
32 pilotpip : The ERJ-170/190 already has something like this and I would imagine others do as well. The flight path vector turns off and red arrows appear in the
33 Post contains images Starlionblue : Fair point. Same on the G1000. However if memory serves the F/A-18 takes it further. Instead of just making red chevrons or arrows on the artificial
34 HAWK21M : Lets put it this way....how many pax will be ok travelling on a plane with no pilot monitoring/flying.
35 Starlionblue : Today, very few. In 100 years, who knows?
36 sturmovik : True. I may have mentioned this story before, but once when we were trying out some touchscreen prototypes (which do not support multi touch) with so
37 autothrust : The Typhoon has a very advanced speech recognition. You can give multiple orders like changing frequency of radio/IFF/Routes or do manipulation of the
38 HAWK21M : This is interesting......and amazing too.
39 woodreau : To be honest, I didn't pay very much attention to this thread, until I read the ups 6 crash report After reading the crash report, and rereading this
40 Starlionblue : Helmet mounted HUDs are already in use by the military. This enables them to stay in the field of view even if the pilot turns his/her head. It also
41 Post contains images sturmovik : There's also a lot of research happening on cheaper near-to-eye displays, even for the civilian space. That's the frustrating part, the waiting.
42 3rdGen : For me the odds are severely stacked against voice recognition. Firstly you have to understand that as great as computers and technology is for the co
43 rwessel : Humans can't hit buttons with that level of reliability either.
44 Starlionblue : Quite. A well trained flight crew member makes one error in around a thousand actions. And yet planes do not routinely fall out of the sky because of
45 3rdGen : Sure but it's the human that makes the mistake not the system. I.e. The human hits the wrong button but the system processes the command correctly, t
46 Mir : True, however there is still obviously a need to monitor anything automated, including whatever inputs would be made by voice. That will necessitate
47 rwessel : I'll grant you that there's a different psychology associated with the two types of errors, but there's not a difference if you're interested in the
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