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Voice Technologies

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Beginners, Glossary and Background

It would be very useful to be able to communicate with computers by means of voice - it would be much faster, there would be no cumbersome keyboard, it would be hands free, more natural and could be done over the phone. Consequently, there has been a great deal of research in this area.

There are a number of obstacles: it is hard for computers to recognise when one word ends and the next one starts, speakers have a wide variety of accents and some words that sound the same are spelled differently.

In spite of the difficulties, there are practical speech recognition systems. The simplest ones have a limited vocabulary but are useful for selecting items from a menu. More advanced ones have a large vocabulary but require the speaker to halt between each word. Better ones can recognise natural speech without artificial pauses.

For the best results a high quality microphone should be used in a noise-free environment and the system should be trained for each user of the system. A goal for the future is accurate recognition of natural speech without training the system for individual users.

Present systems can be used for speech to text conversion (for dictation of letters and emails, for example) and to control the application (opening and closing files, specifying font sizes, etc.).

Voice recognition is the identification of an individual by the sound of their voice, but the term is also frequently used to mean speech recognition (converting speech into words).

Voice output is also possible. This may be done by storing samples of words or phrases, or by converting text to speech by outputting a sequence of phonemes for each word. Computer generated speech tends to be expressionless, but research is being undertaken to improve this.


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20 October, 2000
Reseller Opportunities
Job Opportunities
Competitive prices for products and services
Yahoo launches new voice services
Wireless Internet To Drive Voice Recognition
Speech Engine Supports Pocket PC
Phone keypad may go way of rotary dial
L & H shows two-way voice interface aimed at Net devices
.......... More News
Speech Processing - Book titles
Voice Recognition - Book titles
.......... More Books
Voice Portals - Examining Speech In The Mobile Market (London, United Kingdom; 20 Nov 2000 to 22 Nov 2000
VoiceCon2001 (Washington, DC, United States; 12 Feb 2001 to 15 Feb 2001
.......... More Events