Category Archives: EnglishCentral

The 100th Post: Why The Grand Janitor's Blog?

Since I decided to revamp The Grand Janitor's Blog last December, it has been 100 posts. (I cheat a bit, so "not since then".)

It's funny to describe time with the number of articles you write.   In blogging though, that makes complete sense.

I have started several blogs in the past.  Only 2 of them survive (, Cumulomanic and "Start-Up Employees 333 weeks", both in Chinese) .  When you cannot maintain your blog for more than 50 posts, you blog just dies, or simply to disappear into oblivion.

Yet I make it.  So here's an important question to ask: what makes me keep on?

I believe the answer is very simple.  There is no bloggers so far who work on the niche of speech recognition: None on automatic speech recognition (ASR) systems, even though there was much progress.  None on engines, even much work has been done in open source.   None on applications, even great projects such as Simon was there.

Nor there were discussion on how open source speech recognition can be applied to the commercial world, even when there are dozens of companies are now based on Sphinx (e.g. my employer Voci,  EnglishCentral and Nexiwave ), and they are filling the startup space.

How about how the latest technology such as deep neural network (DNN) and weighted finite state transducers (WFST) would affect us?  I can see them in academic conferences, journals or sometimes tradeshows...... but not in a blog.

But blogging, which we all know, is probably the most prominent form of how people are getting news these days.

And news about speech recognition, once you understand them, is fascinating. 

The only blog which comes close is Nicholay's blog : nsh.   When I try to recover as a speech recognition programmer, nsh was a great help.  So thank you, Nick, thank you.

But there is only one nsh.  There are still have a lot of fascinating to talk about...... Right?

So probably the reason why I keep on working:  I want to invent something I want: a kind of information hub on speech recognition technology, commercial/open source, applications/engines, theory/implementations, the ideals/the realities.

I want to bring my unique perspective: I was in academia, in industrial research and now in the startup world so I know quite well people's mindsets in each group.

I also want to connect with all of you.  We are working on one of the most exciting technology in the world.   Not everyone understands that.  It will take time for all of us, to explain to our friends and families what speech recognition can really do and why it matters.

In any case, I hope you enjoy this blog.  Feel free to connect with me on Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Arthur