Speech Technology Magazine Cover

May/June 2003

Magazine Features

Beyond Voice Quality

Text-to-speech (TTS) technology leaves many application designers at a crossroad. Although TTS technology is deployable – and it frequently sounds great – it still makes mistakes. What’s more, it makes some mistakes that seem painfully obvious to us.

Issues with Speech Deployments

In today’s mobile “access anywhere” society, the increasing reliance on up-to-date personalized information presents a challenge to application developers who are tasked to provide solutions and services whenever and wherever they may be needed. The prevalence of various access devices such as desktop PCs, laptops, PDAs and SMS or WAP enabled mobile phones, merely confuses the task for the developer.

Maintaining and Increasing Customer Satisfaction Through Voice Automation of Directory Assistance

Several billion times each year consumers call over wireline and wireless networks and pay a transaction fee to get a telephone number. Directory Assitance (DA) Service Providers in North America spend hundreds of millions of dollars to offer this service, with most of the money paying the cost of the operators.

Speech in the Car

Defined as the integration of telematics and interactive speech technology, voice telematics makes it practical to use an audio interface to do things while driving. Driver distraction is minimized because eyes can be kept on the road.

Speech Wars—Round Two

The Voice Browser Working Group has finished the technical work on the three major languages in the W3C Speech Interface Framework—VoiceXML 2.0, the Speech Recognition Grammar Specification, and the Speech Synthesis Markup Language. These languages will soon become “check-off items” in a list of features provided by the leading speech platforms.

The Difficulties with Names

If you have an unusual name because it's rare, ethnic or your parents got creative with its spelling, you're probably used to people butchering it when they address or introduce you. Some people admit it's useful to have an uncommon name, since they use it to screen out telemarketers ("Hello, er, um, Mr. 'Bucket'?" "No, Goodbye!" answers Mr. Buquet).

The Role of Speech in Multimodal Applications

The visually-oriented graphical user interface (GUI) is a powerful, familiar, and highly functional approach to interacting with computers. But, as speech technology becomes increasingly available, it’s natural to think about how speech could be used in GUI interfaces as well as voice-only interfaces.

What is Usability Testing?

What is usability testing? Looking around the industry, it is apparent that “usability testing” means a number of different things to a number of different people. While there are consistencies in methods and techniques among many speech industry usability analysts, there is no obvious consensus as to the purpose of usability testing or on any particular way to conduct usability tests.


Listen Up! Big Brother is Talking to You

Listen up! The government is talking to you and being helpful in the process. This might sound strange to anyone who has sat on hold waiting for a government agency representative. Ever called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) or Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)? You know what I mean.


Industry View

What's Your Value? It's Just A Phone, Stupid.

Recently, we had the exhilarating experience of undergoing a merger. In the interim, we were able to set up a fully functional intranet, a speech-based automated attendent, and a virtual Exchange server in one day.

Voice Value

Integrating Speech Into The Big Picture of Ergonomics

When we are typing on the computer we may have one hand on the keyboard, our other hand on the mouse, our eyes on the screen. We are in a locked position. When we factor in talking on the phone without a headset or sitting in a maladjusted chair, the situation becomes worse.

Is the Game Over for Speech Recognition?

Speech recognition is finding its way into video games, but not from an accessibility standpoint. Instead, speech is being integrated to enhance the experience for hard-core gamers. Manufacturers publicize speech recognition as a new game play option, not as a way for an individual with a disability to join his friends in a social activity.

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