Intelligent Character Recognition

What Does Intelligent Character Recognition Mean?

Intelligent character recognition (ICR) is a computer-based interpretation of handwritten or printed characters so that they can be transcribed into a standardized format that can be recognized and understood by a computer.

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ICR and optical character recognition (OCR) have essentially the same meaning. Before these technologies were developed, written text was transformed into digital form by a data entry specialist, who continually typed written text with a keyboard.

OCR/ICR technologies have since been substituted for older manual methods.

Techopedia Explains Intelligent Character Recognition

The most common input device for characters in written, nondigital form is a scanner. These characters are processed by a digital signal processing-based (DSP-based) program, which compares characters within a stored database. This process is typically followed by a confirmation process based on a built-in dictionary that suggests matches closest to the entered characters.

Today, scanning is the only manual part of the process, and it is much faster than entering characters individually. ICR-based programs have the capacity to achieve high-recognition accuracy exceeding 98 percent. This is the same realized percentage of a data entry specialist, but it is accomplished within a shorter period of time.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.