Speech Technology Magazine Cover

May/June 2004

Magazine Features

Easing Speech Application Development With Tools

Novice speech application developers are often discouraged by the complexity of the development task. Their apprehension is reinforced by horror stories concerning the difficulties of grammar construction, mediocre dialog designs, the complexity of integrating business process with the voice user interface and the need for extensive tuning before an application performs well. Recently, however, the availability of speech application development tools has significantly reduced both the complexity of the development process and the time required to complete a development task.

Most Innovation Solutions Awards 2004

As we announce our second year of Speech Technology Magazine's Most Innovative Solutions Awards, there's one thing that remains unchanged: the speech technology industry is consistently raising the bar. And that means that to keep ahead of the bar it is key to stay up-to-date with the leading edge of change.

Speech in the Travel Industry

Vertical market applications are a subject dear to the hearts of marketers in the contact center and speech technology field. Finance, healthcare and education are typical of the "low hanging fruit" vendors have long focused on, with others, such as government, getting attention as the next potential for the big sales kill. Although there are some surprisingly interesting applications associated with these verticals, as a whole they aren't the most exciting customer-facing applications out there.

Voice as a Gateway for New Services

Service providers have a long history of leading the market in deploying innovative and effective speech automation. From the first voice portal deployments to automated agent testing and handset activations, carriers have shown that they are fully willing to embrace the benefits of voice recognition technology. Today, virtually all of the major carriers have deployed some type of speech-enabled application and are looking for areas where this technology can help them further. The reasons why service providers are looking to deploy speech have remained the same for years: increase revenue, lower costs and improve customer service. What’s changed is how service providers are using the technology to achieve these goals.

COLUMNS:

Editor's Letter

A Lot is Happening

Since we last visited, Bill Gates keynoted AVIOS/SpeechTEK Spring; Xerox sold its ScanSoft stake for $80 million; Fluency, Voxify and Cepstral received additional equity investments; Wizzard completed its acquisition of MedivoxRx; Babel and Elan announced the name of their new company—Acapela; and more than 60 new product and partnership announcements have been made.

Forward Thinking

Profiles for Speech Application Users

A user profile contains information that describes how to personalize a speech user interface to meet the needs for a specific user.

Human Factor

What's Natural about Natural Language Processing?

Oh No!I inwardly wince every time a client announces that he wants me to design a “natural language” voice user interface. What follows is often an awkward series of questions that is intended to find out just what the client means by “natural language.” The answers clients provide can represent a range of possibilities that span, on a scale of complexity, from a basic verbal command and control system all the way up to an unbounded conversational dialog with a machine possessing the verbal skills of William F. Buckley, Jr.

Industry View

Pre-packaged or Redundant? Reinventing the App.

As we reflect on AVIOS/SpeechTEK, the second major show of the year, the pre-packaged apps mantra that was sounded at TVUI continued to resonate on the floors of the exhibition floor in San Francisco.

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