Intelligent Character Recognition (ICR) Software – One step ahead of OCR

  • Richard Marley
  • July 21, 2020
  • 6 minutes read
  • 697

Intelligent Character Recognition Software captures handwriting from image files. It is an advanced version of OCR technology in which printed characters are captured. Intelligent character recognition is in the transformation phase as technology keeps improving to give better accuracy and recognition rates. The changes and adjustments in this field are constant which incorporates possibilities with time to make technology more reliable. 

In fact, when compared to OCR, we can say that the results of ICR still lack correctness. The reason is that currently available ICR software is constantly learning neural networks developed by Artificial Intelligence. The more the data will be available, the better the ICR software would be able to learn and process the handwritten documents. Any exception can result in wrong data interpretation.

icr and ocr

Intelligent Character Recognition can interpret an array of new handwriting styles and fonts by developing an AI-based neural network model through which the system ensures self-learning with each new document style and font. It means that whenever a new type of document is learned by the model, the ICR software upgrades its database which ultimately helps the software predict the handwriting effectively with high accuracy. With every new data to the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) model, the new, as well as previous data, is used to predict the handwriting, fonts, and styles, etc.

Intelligent Word Recognition, however, does not replace OCR and ICR systems as it is optimized technology to process real-world documents that are not well-written and have free form. The documents in which it is hard to recognize the data fields can not be identified with ICR. Instead, to do the data entry operations, IWR technology automates it and recognizes the text in a detailed manner. 

How does ICR work? 

ICR software is integrated into a system that takes in an input of a handwritten document. It scans the information from it and extracts the data from the documents. Let’s understand the working of ICR technology in the digital document verification use-case of a bank.

  1. The end-user will display their ID in front of the camera. ICR software will scan the document and extract the information from the ID (Name, DoB, etc)
  2. The user could be asked to upload a hand-written consent as well (as per the system’s instructions). The consent text will be scanned and extracted.
  3. Both the extracted information will be verified and data, as well as results, will be sent to the bank.

The automated data extraction process eliminates the overhead of time-consuming and ineffective data entry processes by businesses. Not only time, but it saves the cost to hire employees for the job of data entry. The extracted data can further be used in an automated data flow system that can help businesses ensure predictive modeling over large datasets to make the system more efficient and optimized.

icr improves day to day

Application of Intelligent Character Recognition Software 

ICR software was invented by Joseph Corcoran in 1993 for the purpose of automated forms processing. This process involved three stages in which the document image was captured and processed by the software, then the information was extracted using the ICR engine and in the final stage, results were processed to validate that output automatically.

With time, this invention proved to be fruitful for a variety of real-world business applications. Today, modern business software use ICR services for automated form filling. Before ICR, the identification of unstructured data was a complex process. However, now innovative technologies have the capability to automate the data extraction process no matter if it is structured, unstructured, or cursive handwriting. ICR software has the following applications at an industrial level:

  • Intelligent Character Recognition systems are adopted by Robotic Process Automation (RPA) worldwide. 
  • To optimize workplace operations, ICR is used in the applications of Optical Mark Recognition (OMR).
  • ICR software is used for achieving the data in an electronic environment. 
  • Electronic document verification to verify the identity of individuals online. This application is mostly used in banks and financial institutes.
  • Verification of handwritten consent in a digital environment. 
  • ICR software is used to automate the manual data entry process at an industrial level.

Benefits of ICR

The ICR services make OCR technology more effective as it can interpret various forms of fonts and styles. It uses artificial intelligence and neural networks that assist the system to learn on its own with experience. Every time new data is fed into ICR, it enhances and upgrades its learning process through artificial neural networks to extract the information from both structured and unstructured documents with digital or cursive handwriting. Either it’s financial firms or the healthcare sector, they get a number of forms every day. Therefore, ICR services provide a quick and efficient way to process customer data. Also, it can reduce errors when elucidating data from handwritten notes because there is no room for errors in some industries, Intelligent Character Recognition technology helps them input the huge volumes of data with minimal errors. 

Now that you know, what is ICR? But deploying the ICR technology totally depends on the company’s requirements. Having said that, OCR is comparatively low cost as compared to ICR technology. But if your company has massive volumes of data to process every day that may include structured and unstructured documents, then ICR with a combination of OCR is a step in the right direction because, at the end of the day, it not only reduces manual labor but delivers result with high accuracy rates.