What is Azure Speech Service?

Get an introduction to Speech service from Azure and learn how to create the Speech resource in Azure.


In recent years, voice-enabled applications are becoming really popular. Some of the popular voice-enabled applications are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, etc. This is due to the fact that the application becomes easier to use and can perform the actions by just listening to voice commands. But building such an application could be a tedious task. This is where the Azure Speech Service comes into play.

The Azure speech service provides many functionalities such as converting the real-time speech to text, converting the text to speech, performing real-time translation of the speech, and so on.

Use cases

Let’s explore some of the use cases for Azure speech service.

  • Smart assistants: Nowadays, companies are building smart assistant applications that can control cars, television, lights, fans, and so on by following voice commands. A user just tells the virtual smart assistant to “turn off the light,” or to “switch on the television,” and the smart assistant it does it.
  • Voice-enabled Chatbots: Instead of having a traditional chatbot, companies can integrate Azure speech service to enable speech understanding capability in their chatbots and the users can then interact with them.
  • Call centers: In call centers, usually the calls are recorded for training purposes of the employees of that particular call center. By using the Azure speech service, companies can now generate the transcription for all the recordings using the batch transcription API from Azure speech.
  • Audiobooks: Nowadays the concept of audiobooks is getting really popular. We could create our own audiobooks application, where we only need to have the content of the book in a text format to convert that text to a human-sounding voice using the Azure speech service.

Creating a speech service

Before moving on with the chapter, let’s first create the Speech resource from the Azure portal.

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