Talking Tech

It’s Not the Recognizer

Examining speech application errors reveals several more likely causes.

TTS Finds Global Media

With new markets come new uses for the technology.

Beyond Misrecognitions and No Speech

How a larger taxonomy of errors can inspire change.

Moving the Conversation Forward

Don't harp on errors that can be resolved later.

Moving Beyond 'I'm Sorry, I Didn't Get That'

Reprompts should correspond to the type of error being generated.

This Is Your Wake-Up Call

For speech to move into the mainstream, VUI designers need to jump in early.

A Multiple Approach Is Best

VUI testing should involve surveys, call recordings, and call logs together.

Internet Technologies in the Contact Center

The telecommunications industry is undergoing a major change from proprietary hardware-based systems to software-based systems built on open standards. Standards such as VoiceXML, CCXML, SIP, Service-Oriented Architecture, and other Internet technologies are radically changing how contact center applications are built and deployed. But these enabling technologies are only the means to an end. The real goals of applying new technologies to the contact center remain improving the customer's experience.

Voice Site Concepts 101: The Up and Down Arrows

Keep it simple. Such a straightforward goal, but one that is so often sacrificed in the search for engineering efficiency. My latest encounter with this penchant for complexity came in the form of the over-engineered elevator system at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, host to SpeechTEK 2005.

Speech Recognition and Language Learning: A User's Plea

James Wimberley explains, "A speech recognition module tuned too finely to native speakers would be frustrating for learners; one that trained itself to accept their mistakes uncritically would miss an important learning opportunity."

Speech Driven Services at Higher Education Institutes

Guy Alon, marketing manager of NSC, explains how the higher education market can be a "huge potential of using speech recognition."

Why Can't You Listen to Your Information on Your Way to Work?

Gary Tjaden, founder and CEO of the Cocomo ID Company, explains that "there is a much more cost-effective approach to speech-audio publishing than the current digitized speech approach, which is to use a text-to-speech (TTS) engine embedded in a PDA or cell phone to speak general information downloaded as small text files.

Speech Technology for Persons With Disabilities: Are We Breaking Down Barriers or Creating New Ones?

Terry Thompson, senior computer specialist at the University of Washington, explains, "If industry players embrace universal design, all users - with and without disabilities - will finally be able to participate in our technology-enhanced world."

The Impact of the ScanSoft-Nuance Merger

Bill Meisel, president of TMA Associates (www.tmaa.com), explains why "The ScanSoft-Nuance merger, with ScanSoft agreeing to purchase the outstanding shares of Nuance and use the name Nuance for the merged company, will send shock waves through the companies' partner networks and end-user customers."

Regaining Consumer IVR Confidence: Companies Draw on Different Tools to Save IVR/Speech Interaction

Michael Chavez, vice president of client services at ClickFox, explains that "by leveraging a strategic combination of customer behavior intelligence, customer service interviews and surveys, organizations can reduce customer frustration with IVR systems, which will result in drastic savings, while also improving customer satisfaction."

Gearing up for the Grid: Speech with No Strings Attached!

According to Sumit Badal, senior staff software engineer with Nortel, "the Grid is coming - and so is unconstrained speech recognition."

Modernizing Communication among Field Service Workers

Travis White, vice president of marketing and product management at Datria, explains that predictable service should be a company's number one priority above all else.

Traps Leading from Good Intentions to Bad Automation

Peter Leppik - pleppik@vocalabs.com - takes a look at improving customer service.

Out of the Iron Age: Redefining Success

Gone are the days of big deals meaning big discounts for IVR ports. The new definition of success is how many calls can be resolved and how fast the next app goes into production.

Conversational Isn't What You Think It Is

The term "conversational" has been over generalized to refer to only one kind of conversation. His article explores in depth how designers can find a balance between maintaining the conversational flavor of speech while designing for more frequent use.