How to Build a Private ChatGPT Using Open-Source Technology? Download our free white paper.

Understanding NLP History: The Evolution of Speech Recognition

The blog post explores the history and advancements of voice-to-text technology, its integration with CRM software, and its potential for improving customer experience.

Get started on the future of NLP with Lettria.

Voice-to-text technology, also known as speech recognition, has been around for decades. It has undergone significant improvements over the years, thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, neural language processing, and machine learning. Today, voice-to-text technology has numerous applications, including in customer relationship management (CRM) software. In this blog post, we'll explore the history of voice-to-text technology and its integration with CRM software.

Overview of Voice to Text

The Early Stages of Speech Recognition

Voice-to-text technology dates back to the 1950s when Bell Laboratories developed the first voice recognition system.  The first voice recognition system developed by Bell Laboratories was called "Audrey." It could only recognize numbers spoken by a single voice and was not yet practical for widespread use. Over the next few decades, researchers worked on improving voice recognition technology, but progress was slow due to limitations in computing power and the difficulty of accurately processing human speech.

In the 1980s, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) began funding research in speech recognition, which led to significant advancements in the field. However, the system was limited in its capabilities and was not yet practical for consumer use. Over the next few decades, researchers continued to work on improving voice recognition technology. By the 1990s, voice recognition software had improved significantly, making it more widely available.

The Rise of Voice-to-Text Technology

In the early 2000s, voice-to-text technology was primarily used for dictation and transcription purposes. However, advancements in artificial intelligence, neural language processing, and machine learning led to significant improvements in voice recognition accuracy and speed. This made voice-to-text technology more practical for a variety of applications, including virtual assistants, smart home devices, and CRM software.

The early 2000s saw the rise of speech recognition technology in personal computing. Dragon Naturally Speaking was one of the first commercially successful speech recognition programs for consumers, enabling users to dictate text and control their computer using voice commands. Speech recognition technology also saw significant improvements in accuracy and speed thanks to machine learning algorithms and improved hardware, which led to more widespread adoption in a variety of industries.

Integrating Voice-to-Text with CRM

The integration of voice-to-text technology with CRM software has the potential to revolutionize the way businesses manage customer interactions. CRM software has become increasingly popular over the years, as it helps companies manage their customer interactions and improve customer relationships. However, despite the rise of CRM giants like Hubspot and Salesforce, under 37% of reps actually use their company's CRM.¹ This struggle between workers and management to integrate the software needs modern solutions, because imposing new ways of working is leaving out a majority of the workforce.

With voice recognition, sales representatives can input notes about a customer call in real-time, eliminating the need for manual data entry. Voice recognition can also be used to analyze customer sentiment and feedback, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions about how to improve their customer experience. Integrating voice-to-text technology with CRM software can also improve employee productivity and job satisfaction, as it simplifies their workflow and eliminates the need for manual data entry.

Ravirajbhat154, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
A breakdown of NLP/ AI challenges

Voice-to-text technology can be integrated with CRM software to streamline communication and improve efficiency. Sales representatives can use voice recognition backed with AI to automatically generate notes about a customer call, eliminating the need for manual data entry.

This integration has the potential to improve customer experience. By using voice recognition, companies can quickly identify key customer needs and respond accordingly. Additionally, voice recognition can be used to analyze customer sentiment and feedback, helping companies better understand their customers and make data-driven decisions.

Want to learn how to build a private ChatGPT using open-source technology?

The Future of Voice-to-Text Technology

Voice-to-text technology is poised to continue its growth and improve even further. As AI and machine learning continue to advance, voice recognition accuracy and speed will only continue to improve. Companies that integrate voice-to-text technology with their CRM software will have a competitive advantage, as they will be able to communicate with customers more efficiently and effectively.

As voice-to-text technology continues to improve, we can expect to see it become even more widely used in a variety of applications. One area where voice recognition is expected to make significant progress is in the development of natural language processing (NLP) systems. These systems will be able to understand and respond to complex human language, enabling more sophisticated voice assistants and improving the accuracy of speech-to-text translation.

Additionally, voice recognition technology is expected to become more ubiquitous, with more devices and services integrating it into their platforms. This will make it easier for businesses to adopt voice-to-text technology and integrate it with their CRM software, leading to more efficient and effective customer interactions.


Voice-to-text technology has come a long way since its early stages in the 1950s. Today, it has numerous practical applications, including integration with CRM software. As technology continues to improve, we can expect voice-to-text technology to become even more widely used and impactful in the years to come. Companies that embrace this technology will be better equipped to manage their customer interactions and improve customer relationships.

Learn about how Lettria leverages advanced voice processing technology in our Voice2CRM platform story page.


Build your NLP pipeline for free
Get started ->