2005 Speech Solutions Winners
For four years Speech Technology Magazine has recognized the individuals and companies whose efforts have propelled the speech industry forward. Upon being nominated and then approved as a candidate in the topic area; winners were then selected by online voting of the readers of Speech Technology Magazine. The categories and winners are:
Best ASR Deployment
This award recognizes the top ASR deployment in the last 12 months. This deployment can be built using custom or packaged applications, for wireless or wire line, deployed in an enterprise or in a carrier environment.
Finalists: Avaya, Nortel and Nuance
Winner: Nortel - for Nortel using ScanSoft's ASR technology utilizing Natural Language with directed dialog followed by SpeakFreely implemented by PG&E.
Best Carrier Platform
This award recognizes the company that offers the most compelling voice platform for carriers based on successful deployments in the last 12 months.
Finalists: Audium, Nuance, Nortel
Winner: Audium - for Audium Studio and Audium Call Services. Audium Studio, an Eclipse-based integrated development environment for VoiceXML applications, gives customers powerful tools to build sophisticated speech applications that integrate seamlessly with enterprise technology infrastructure. Recent deployments include: Vodafone Australia, Telstra.
Best Embedded Deployments
This award recognizes the top deployment of an embedded speech product in an electronic device, such as a car, any handheld device, game or set-top box, etc.
Finalists: IBM, ScanSoft, VoiceSignal
Winner: ScanSoft - for ScanSoft SpeechPAK TALKS™ 2.0. ScanSoft SpeechPAK TALKS™ 2.0 is designed for Symbian series 60 and 80 mobile phones and has been adopted by a host of leading service providers, including Cingular, Vodafone and Telecom Italia.
Best Enterprise Platform
This award recognizes the company that offers the most compelling voice platform for enterprises based on successful deployments in the last 12 months.
Finalists: Avaya, Nortel, Audium
Winner: Avaya - for Interactive Response/Dialog Designer. Avaya Interactive Response is Avaya's software platform for VoiceXML, speech, and touchtone self service applications.
Best Speaker Verification Deployments
This award recognizes the top speaker verification deployment in the last 12 months. This deployment can be for wireless or wire line, deployed in an enterprise or in a carrier environment.
Finalist: Intervoice, NICE and Nuance
Winner: Nuance - for Nuance Verifier 3.5 that supports 18 languages. Austar - one of the largest cable service providers in Australia -- is just one public example of a Nuance Verifier deployment in the past 12 months. Others including major insurance carriers, telcos and financial services institutions chose Nuance Verifier in the past 12 months.
Best Speech Personality 2005
This award recognizes the company that deployed the best use of persona in a speech application in the last 12 months.
Finalists: Dimension Data, Nortel, TellMe
Winner: Dimension Data - for Vodafone Australia's "Lara." Dimension Data used speech recognition technology from ScanSoft and Holly Australia. For anyone who is interested, Lara is 28, has green eyes, a belly ring and a tattoo. She lives in Sydney, drives a VW Beetle and her star sign is Pisces.
Best TTS Deployments
This award recognizes the top text-to-speech deployment in the last 12 months. This deployment can be for wireless or wire line, deployed in an enterprise or a carrier environment.
Finalists: ScanSoft, Nortel and Nuance
Winner: Nortel - for TTS implemented at PG&E. Nortel implemented TTS at PG&E to provide current status for electric circuit geographical routes, outage causes, crew status, or estimated restoration information.
Big Bang Award
This award recognizes the company that offers the most impactful speech deployment in the last 12 months.
Finalists: NASA/Nuance, ScanSoft/Pacific Gas & Electric
Winner: NASA/Nuance - Speech makes it into space in 2005 with Nuance and NASA. "Clarissa," the International Space Station's new speech-powered virtual assistant, is using Nuance speech recognition to guide in-flight astronauts through thousands of complex - but necessary - procedures related to life support systems, medical exams, science experiments and space suit check-out - all via voice. The system is tuned to listen for procedure-specific commands while ignoring casual conversation among crewmates. Clarissa's next test will take place during NASA's Expedition 11.
Speech Champion 2005
The Speech Champions 2005 awards recognize the team or individual within an enterprise or carrier organization that has led a significant awareness campaign promoting their speech solution during the past 12 months. This award recognizes top individual/team for his/her creative marketing efforts to increase awareness and acceptance of his/her company's speech technology deployment both with internal and external audiences.
Finalists: Kent Barnes of PG&E, Adam Spence of Vodafone and the VoiceXML Forum.
Winners: (We had a tie in this category so we awarded two speech champions for 2005.) Adam Spence of Vodafone and Kent Barnes of PG&E
Adam Spence - As technical solutions manager, Adam Spence has led Vodafone Australia's speech efforts, from concept through to deployment, including Vodafone Australia's award-winning speech application, Lara. Adam has also been instrumental in a range of major technology change initiatives at Vodafone, including the introduction of CTI and outbound dialling solutions.
Kent Barnes - PG&E's Kent Barnes drove his proposal to fruition adding speech to reduce costs, lower call volumes, and raise customer satisfaction. Kent actively shares the benefits of speech with hard and accurate test data and survey results internally and externally to PG&E.
The Unsung Hero Award recognizes the engineer and/or developer who works tirelessly behind the scenes to develop, build, test and tune the speech application we use everyday.
Finalists: Bernard Leung, Nortel Team, Vlad Sejnoha
Winner: Bernard Leung of Dimension Data - Leung is a solutions engineer, Customer Interactive Solutions. Leung was primarily responsible for customer consultation, development and deployment of Vodafone Australia's Lara Pre-paid application for Audium. This application utilized the combination of three platforms: Audium application development, Holly voice and ScanSoft speech recognition technology, and is one of the largest and most comprehensive speech applications available today. Prior to joining Dimension Data, Leung worked for four years at Philips Speech Processing and ScanSoft, in product engineering and speech presales consulting.
Lifetime Achievement Award
To be recognized for the Lifetime Achievement Award, the individual should have made a significant contribution to the speech technology industry during his/her lifetime. The award seeks to recognize individuals for their business or technical work on behalf of speech technology.
Finalists: Ken Holl, Ken Rehor, Michael Phillips
Winner: Michael Phillips - Mike Phillips, former chief technology officer at ScanSoft and co-founder of SpeechWorks, has been instrumental at driving technical innovation and the evolution of speech solutions. With over 20 years in the speech recognition field, Phillips spent seven years as a Research Scientist at the Spoken Language Systems Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developing a conversational interface between computers and humans. Prior to MIT, he was a speech recognition researcher at Carnegie-Mellon University and Scott Instruments Corporation. Phillips holds a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.
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