Fraunhofer Debuts Solutions for Improved Speech Intelligibility and Speech-to-Text

Fraunhofer's Hearing, Speech, and Audio Technology project group this week will introduce a system for improved speech intelligibility through any telephone system and headset and a software solution for the automatic conversion of oral conversations into written text, including search for keywords.

The improved intelligibility solution will allow contact center agents to select, over a user interface on their PC or end device, from a number of preset signal outputs for the one with the best sound and volume. The signal of each incoming call can then be adjusted to the user's individual hearing needs. In addition, background noise interfering with the telephone conversation is filtered out from the signal.

"At the heart of the system is a very intelligent signal processing algorithm, which allows significant improvement of speech intelligibility, regardless of whether the signal is of good or poor quality," said Jan Rennies-Hochmuth of Fraunhofer IDMT, in a statement. "The system enables also users with an impaired hearing ability to conduct effective telephone conversations, even in noisy environments."

The second solution to be presented by Fraunhofer allows automatic conversion of oral conversations into written text, including search for keywords. The idea behind this solution is that during the conversation the call center agent is being offered data and information that could assist in the customer care process. But the system is also able to automatically identify the agent most capable of processing the request, who can then take over the call, according to Rennies-Hochmuth.

The system also helps companies comply with requirements for call center operators to document all telephone conversations between their agents and customers. Compliance with data privacy regulations, which is another obligation to be kept by call center operators, is ensured at any time, as the speech recognition software runs on the computers of the call center. No data is stored in the cloud.

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