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OpenAI Whisper open source AI speech recognition system

If you would like to learn more about the open-sourced a neural net known as Whisper, created and released as open source by OpenAI. This automatic speech recognition (ASR) system is designed to offer high accuracy in English speech recognition. The development of Whisper is a significant step forward in the field of speech recognition, as it brings together a large and diverse dataset for training, improved robustness to various speech conditions, and the potential for application in multiple languages.

Whisper’s training involved a massive 680,000 hours of multilingual and multitask supervised data collected from the web. This extensive and diverse dataset has significantly improved Whisper’s robustness to accents, background noise, and technical language. The ability to handle such a wide range of speech conditions is a testament to the system’s advanced capabilities.

The Whisper ASR system is not limited to English alone. It can transcribe in multiple languages and translate those languages into English. This multilingual capability broadens the potential applications of Whisper, making it a valuable tool for global communication and understanding.

How to install and use Whisper

OpenAI has made the models and inference code of Whisper open-source, allowing for further research and application development. This move is in line with OpenAI’s mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity. By making Whisper open-source, OpenAI is enabling AI researchers and developers to build upon its work, potentially leading to more advanced and beneficial applications.


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Whisper comprises nine models of different sizes and capabilities. These models are trained for speech recognition and translation tasks, capable of transcribing speech audio into text and translating it into English. The models show strong ASR results in approximately 10 languages and may have additional capabilities if fine-tuned for specific tasks.

However, OpenAI has issued a caution against using Whisper models to transcribe recordings taken without consent or for subjective classification. The organization also recommends against using Whisper in high-risk decision-making contexts. This caution underscores the ethical considerations that must be taken into account when using advanced AI technologies.

Transcribe audio files with OpenAI Whisper

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The architecture of Whisper is an end-to-end approach, implemented as an encoder-decoder Transformer. This architecture is a key factor in Whisper’s performance and capabilities. Despite being trained on a large and diverse dataset, Whisper does not outperform models that specialize in LibriSpeech performance, a benchmark in speech recognition. However, Whisper’s zero-shot performance across diverse datasets is more robust and makes 50% fewer errors than other models.

About a third of Whisper’s audio dataset is non-English, and it is alternately given the task of transcribing in the original language or translating to English. This approach to training has enhanced Whisper’s effectiveness in learning speech to text translation.

Open Source

OpenAI anticipates that Whisper models’ transcription capabilities may be used for improving accessibility tools. While Whisper models cannot be used for real-time transcription out of the box, their speed and size suggest that others may be able to build applications on top of them for near-real-time speech recognition and translation.

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Whisper represents a significant advancement in the field of speech recognition. Its robustness to various speech conditions, multilingual capabilities, and potential for further research and development make it a promising tool for AI researchers and developers. However, as with all AI technologies, it is crucial to consider the ethical implications of its use.

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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