Speech Technology Magazine Cover

April/May 1998

Magazine Features

APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT: Speech Comes to the Call Center

Deployment of robust, voice use interface (VUI) applications is now possible using the current generation automatic speech recognition and natural language technology. And just in time! The traditional touch-tone (DTMF) 0-9 interface on integrated voice response (IVR) systems is being pushed to the limit of customer acceptance.


As computer based information and the devices used to access and interact with computers have proliferated world wide, the definition of a computer user has grown to encompass a broadening set of individuals. Because of the visual and motor interface foundation of most computer systems, users who are blind, have low vision, or have perceptual and learning styles that differ from traditional models, are frequently denied access to computer based systems without the support of assistive technology.

Continuous Speech: New Microphones, Software and Developments in Dictation

Here are some of the new latest developments in large vocabulary dictation computer speech recognition.

Cross Platform, Cross Vendor Access to Speech

Speech technology is becoming widely available for use in real applications in personal and enterprise computing. The Java™ Speech API, developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc. and industry partners, defines a softwareinterface for speech recognizers and speech synthesizers on the Java platform. The JavaSpeech API enables developers of speech-enabled applications to incorporate moresophisticated and natural user interfaces into Java applications and deploy them on a widerange of computing platforms.

Human Resources: Human Resources Recognizes Speech

Every fall corporate human resource executives throughout the nation brace themselves for a trying time. With open enrollment for health care benefit plans come the seemingly endless editing and off line processes that go with steering employees through this period.

Market Analysis: Opportunities in Speech

During the second half of 1997, Wohl Associates spent considerable time looking at various aspects of the speech marketplace, interviewing vendors and users, and forming opinions as to the status of the market and its future directions.

Natural Language Meets IVR

Almost all voice processing systems currently require the caller to have a touch tone phone to use the system. Voice mail / auto attendant systems and interactive voice response systems still rarely employ voice recognition. Systems that do employ voice recognition most commonly use number recognition (i.e. the system understands the numbers 0 through 9 and the words yes, no, and oh).

Speech Reconnaissance: Natural Language

With last year's breakthrough releases in continuous speech products, one of the major challenges of speech technology was achieved. For some who have been chasing this dream for many years, 1997 was the culmination of an intensive effort.

Text-To-Speech: E-Mail Readers--The Speech Connection

E-mail has been used in the U.S. for several years. However, much of Europe has been late in exploiting this efficient communication method, and as such, Europe can now be considered a new member of the Internet community.

The Next Level For Speech

Advancing speech recognition to the next level has always been the goal at IBM's researchlabs in upstate New York. Once, this meant simply getting machines to merely recognizespeech.


Forward Thinking

It All Depends

I have always been fascinated by the ability of purely descriptive terms to assume strong positive or negative connotations. In the mid-1980s, I was intrigued when the term "isolated" (as in "isolated-word recognition") acquired negative overtones and was replaced by the less pejorative and more oblique (dare I say more discreet?) word "discrete" as the way to describe systems that require users to pause between words.

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