Speech Technology Magazine Cover

February/March 1999

Magazine Features

Advanced Interfaces: Handwriting Recognition and the Human-Computer Interface

One of the challenges now facing designers of hand-held devices is to make them easier and more natural to use while shrinking their physical size. Both speech and pen input offer the means to eliminate the keyboard. In addition to allowing a physically smaller form factor, handwriting recognition is generally more congenial than a miniature keyboard.

Assistive Technology:
Interactive Technology Enhances Speech Therapy

Speech technology is capable of making significant changes in all disciplines and walks of life. But perhaps the place where it represents the most natural and appropriate solution is in speech pathology, where advances in computer speech therapy have changed the ways in which patients and their pathologists work.

The Business Case for Speech in the Call Center

Speech recognition technology is "ready for prime time" and is about to move beyond the early adopter stage into many mainstream customer service organizations. Speech can be a major cost saver for inbound call centers in a variety of applications, according to several recent studies.

CALL CENTERS: How to Choose a Call Center Partner

What should a call center look for in a speech recognition company when it seeks to speech enable its operation? A heavy burden rests on any company in choosing between vendors.


Many interesting new products were released during the last quarter of 1998 and early this year. In this column, we will discuss some of the ones we had the opportunity to see and found especially impressive.

Who is Looking at Speech?

In their early stages, Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies were approached by firms through extensive exploration and experimentation rather than through targeted development. This fast growing industry so far has been analyzed by several vendors and consultants using mainly qualitative data. In this article we present a different approach [1] exploiting quantitative data. Corporate goals and changes in the technological environment are better figured by patenting and publishing performances which are reported here, along with the results of an Internet based survey designed for executives and researchers.

SPEECH FROM THE WEB: Conversational Agents Let Users Treat Computers as People

In their book, The Media Equation, Byron Reeves and Clifford Nass suggest that people treat computers as if they are real people. When people interact with each other, they normally see and hear, as well as speak with each other. It is also natural for users to want to see and hear their computers, as well as speak with them. In order for users to hear a computer, it must have synthesized speech.

Helping Developers Say Yes to Speech

Developers have struggled with speech for years, trying to find how to effectively integrate speech into existing and projected computer and telecommunications projects. In the last year, Unisys has emerged as an important player in the speech industry, perhaps more as a company that enables speech development than as a direct provider.

Speech Reconnaissance:
Making the Case for Speech

Will 1999 finally be the year of speech recognition? Or will Y2K issues distract the computer world’s attention to the point where this remarkable technology will remain on the back burner for another year?

Speech: A Declaration for People with Disabilities

One of the greatest minds of the 20th Century is trapped inside a body that doesn't work.Yet Steven Hawking has produced three books that change the way we look at our world. Without his VOCA, (Voice Output Communication Aid) Dr. Hawking's powerful ideas would be locked away forever—unspoken, unwritten, and unknown. In the same way, speech technology can change the way we view people with disabilities.


Forward Thinking

Speech at CES; Test Driving Dragon's Naturally Mobile

The 1999 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was held in Las Vegas in January. For the first time in its long history CES offered a session on speech recognition and had a speech pavilion in its exhibition.

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