Speech Technology Magazine Cover

July/August 2005

Magazine Features

From Conception to Adolescence, the Speech Industry Is Developing a New Breed of Designers/Developers

At the Tufts University campus, the Experimental College (the oldest organization of its kind in the United States) serves as a center for educational innovation, undergraduate curriculum expansion and faculty-student collaboration in the arts and sciences. Blade Kotelly of Edify and Joe Lemay, student at MIT Sloan School of Management, are turning out voice user-interface designers. …

Most Innovative Solutions Awards 2005

According to Daniel Hong, voice business analyst at Datamonitor, the global voice business value chain* will grow from $716 million for 2004 to $1,939 million by 2009 at a CAGR of 22 percent. Speech Technology Magazine presents the third annual Most Innovative Solutions awards in recognition of the enterprises and service providers who are deploying innovative speech applications driving this growth. These applications are an integral touch point of their customers' contact with them and…

Multi-Persona VUI Design

In the world of voice recognition-based applications, we encounter systems that use a clear, pre-defined single-persona concept to represent the Voice User Interface (VUI). The idea behind this approach is to provide callers with a consistent style of prompting and an overall Hear & Feel that ensures user-friendliness over a period of time. Callers would more easily learn how to get along with the voice application, turning from novice- into power-users, without unnecessarily being distracted…

Speech in Education

Speech-enabled applications and hardware are increasingly finding their way into the classroom and into the offices of educators at all levels of education, but educational applications still represent a small, though growing, segment of the speech technology market, according to industry analysts. According to Peter Ryan, analyst for London-based Datamonitor, speech technologies derived from education were 3.8 percent in 2004, a figure that is expected to grow to 9.7 percent by 2007. The main areas in…


Building Speech-Enabled Self-Service Automation for Seasonal Retail Contact Centers

The benefits of telephone-based, speech-enabled automation are being increasingly recognized by contact centers and other companies, and there are many companies that have taken advantage of this technology. Speech-enabled telephone automation is known to reduce the cost of calls by as much as 90 percent compared with agent-assisted calls; speech also reduces the length of calls compared to touchtone applications by as much as 35 percent; and speech is preferred over touchtone systems by consumers

Empire Medicare Services Achieves Their Best Performance Level with Speech-Enabled System

Empire Medicare Services is one of the largest Medicare contractors in the United States, providing services under contracting arrangements with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. <@SM>As a CMS contractor, Empire is required to keep up with agency-established telephone service performance standards - a monthly all-trunk busy (ATB) rate of no more than five percent on the interactive voice response (IVR) system…

Grange Insurance Pumps Premiums With Speech

The Georgia Insurance Information Group1 reports that annual U.S. insurance premiums reached over one trillion dollars in 2003. Breaking the total 2003 premiums into two categories, the property/casualty sector totaled $574.6 billion and the life/health sector totaled $480.9 billion2. While the average insurance expenditures for 2003 were estimated to be a 7.3 percent increase over 2002 and 2004 totals were 3.8 percent over 2003, the Insurance Information Institute estimates a rise of 2.5 percent for…

Pacific Gas & Electric Powers Calls Naturally With Speech

Gas and electric utility companies around the world help power almost every facet of our lives. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), from 1949 to 2003, energy production has increased from 31.722 quadrillion Btu to 70.474 quadrillion Btu1. As far as electricity itself is concerned, U.S. production reached 3,883,185 kilowatt hours and U.S. electric utility production had a net generation of 2,462,281 kilowatt hours for 20031. With a total of 134,449,8251 U.S. customers, utility


Forward Thinking

An Interview with James L. Flanagan

Dr. James Flanagan's groundbreaking research in all facets of speech processing and related areas earned him the prestigious IEEE Medal of Honor. This year, he's retiring from Rutgers University. I had an opportunity to interview him about his work. JM: Of all the things you've worked on, what was the most exciting for you?…

Consistent User Input Options and Instructions Across Multiple User Interfaces

Many Web developers use XML to represent data and a transformation language, such as XSLT, ASP, or ColdFusion, to transform the XML data to an HTML user interface. Developers change the values of the XML data without having to manually recode the HTML user interface.

Human Factor

The Cumulative Effect of Recognition Failures

"Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative."-H. G. Wells <@SM><@SM>The Good News<@SM><@SM>Everyone in the industry is well aware that current speech technologies are undeniably impressive. Speech recognition accuracy rates have been very high for some time and there have been dramatic improvements in ASR robustness (the ability to recognize utterances under unfavorable conditions) during the last few years. The news might be exclusively good if only a high speech recognition accuracy rate was…

Industry View

The Experience of Voice

“Listen to the voice of experience!” So I’ve been told by my mentors dating back to kindergarten and on through graduate school. Here in the year of “Sideways,” let me strongly suggest to my readers that it will be much more productive if you “listen to the experience of voice,” and I’ll clarify that directive by saying that I’m not just referring to the so-called voice user interface (VUI). I’m talking about the elements up…

A View from AVIOS

Is There a "Speech Industry"?

The Applied Voice Input/Output Society (AVIOS) has been promoting the practical application of speech technology for over two decades. In the early days, the immaturity of the technology and the cost of implementing it offered few opportunities to build a "speech industry." Today, the improved technology and the lower cost of deploying it support many practical applications. Many people find that speech technology forms an important part of their work, implicitly creating participants in a...

Voice Value

Slow Moving in a Progressive State

California is supposed to be the progressive state. Named after a mythical paradise, we even have a city that legally changed the title "pet owner" to "pet guardian." While our progressive status may apply to our four-legged friends, it may not extend to all Californians, specifically Medi-Cal recipients who require Augmentative and Alternative Communication Devices (AAC) to communicate. …

Speech Technology with Impact - Speech Analytics Evolves a Step Further

Speech analytics (SA) is the application of speech technologies to the analysis of discourse, whether the speech consists of recorded calls from a contact center, wiretap, or some other form of media. A dozen or more vendors are now marketing such analytics, solo or in conjunction with complimentary products, primarily to companies for use in contact centers.

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