Working the Spoken Word

Notes from the field of speech recognition and spoken dialog technology, from Stephen Potter.

  • Working the Spoken Word

    Microsoft Speech Technology Bloggers

    • 12 Comments
    Update 26 Jan 2006: I've updated this information and posted it in an article . See the article for the most up-to-date information. They're on a lot of blogrolls, but who are these people and what do they actually do every day? Here's a quick overview...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Speech Server 2007 Analytics Tools - a preview

    • 8 Comments
    The recent announcement of Speech Server 2007 included a promise of "Deep Caller Behavior Insight". Heck of a tag line that, so what's it all about? In a phrase: better analysis of what real callers are doing with your system. We've built a tool called...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The shouting match

    • 8 Comments
    Does shouting at a speech recognition system make it work better? Here's a good example from the front lines - a frustrated human shouting Main menu! at the top of her voice (audio via her sister-in-law ). But I bet the recognizer didn't get it. To...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Microsoft and VoiceXML

    • 6 Comments
    Well, for once the rumours are true. Microsoft issued a Press Release this morning announcing that Speech Server 2007, due later this year, will support not only SALT (and some new .Net speech APIs), but also VoiceXML. We have also joined the VoiceXML...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Exchange 12 Unified Messaging demo

    • 6 Comments
    Steve Ballmer talked to a business audience in New York yesterday about Microsoft's People Ready vision for empowering people within business. He included a section of live demos, including voice access to your email and calendar over the phone. As Chris...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    How to punish a speech recognition system

    • 6 Comments
    We've all had frustrating experiences with speech recognition systems, and as a race we're not beyond punishing virtual beings the same way we would punish people. So, what to do when that voicebot won't behave? Teach it a lesson! Here are some tips on...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Getting attached

    • 5 Comments
    According to a report in the Seattle Times yesterday, 21 out of 30 serious users of the Roomba vacuum-cleaning robot give their machine a name. More than half assign it a gender (male) and others have been known to dress it up. What kind of human-machine...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Say *@$#! for the operator

    • 5 Comments
    No, surely not. A reader at Lifehacker claims: Many IVR (interactive voice response) systems are programmed to recognize key words. Among those keywords are frequently a list of swear words, like the FCC's dirty 7. When asked to respond, use on...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Comfort noises

    • 5 Comments
    More System.Vocab . Here's the VUI equivalent of the GUI hourglass: bip-bop-bip-bop-bip-bop... int. A repeated sequence of usually 2 supposedly-pleasant-sounding tones in a rapid rhythmical pattern. A ticking system clock, how nice! Typically inserted...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The speech developer community builds a home (and a tavern)

    • 4 Comments
    gotspeech.net is a new online community for speech developers, built by Marshall Harrison . Marshall is a great authority on Microsoft Speech Server - he's helped countless people with answers to questions on the Speech Server newsgroup . As Marshall...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The voices behind the machine

    • 4 Comments
    Here's an inside look at the 'voice talent' industry - the people who provide prompts (and thereby branding) for companies with automated systems - with the following data points: Perhaps half of all Fortune 1,000 companies still rely on their own...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The rage

    • 4 Comments
    Ouch. The Consumerist blog picks up a graph in a Fast Company article that puts speech recognition technology at 4 on a descending scale of 10 (humane) to 0 (inhumane) , then the commenters really get stuck in. The comments make fascinating reading...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Come and work on speech application analytics and tuning

    • 4 Comments
    One of the coolest teams in Microsoft Speech Server is hiring developers and testers. Please contact me about the positions below or about the cutting-edge technology that's coming out of this team. Software development engineer Microsoft Speech...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Robotic dialogs

    • 4 Comments
    One of the impulses that got me into the speech and language processing business was the pure cool of working on artificial intelligence, and the lure of its holy grail the Turing Test. Even simple programs like Eliza (from decades before - I'm not that...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Bits and bobs

    • 3 Comments
    Propagating some little clusters of speech-related blog links and going easy on the editorializing (having blown out on the team blog site today). Transcription Humans are still holding their own against the machine in CastingWords, as Richard and...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    "Prognostication over the phone is popular"

    • 3 Comments
    Always nice to see new applications of telephony speech recognition beyond the traditional call-centre -- a recent article from Telecommunications Online " Cell-phone or Microphone " discusses some applications for cell-phone users in Thailand, amongst...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The tough problems of simplicity

    • 3 Comments
    A lot of commentaries on Bill Gates' keynote speech at CES yesterday quoted his closing statement on Microsoft's increasing investment in "the toughest problems", such as speech recognition. Here is the quotation with a little more context (from the transcript...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Online discussion: "What to expect from speech technologies in 2006"

    • 3 Comments
    Clint Patterson, Director of Marketing for Microsoft Speech Server, will be taking part in an online roundtable, December 5 at 10:00am (Pacific), with some of his industry counterparts: Dan Faulkner of Nuance, Brian Garr of IBM, and Tim Moynihan of Intel...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Outlook Voice Access demo

    • 3 Comments
    With Exchange Server 2007 , currently in Beta, the ordinary telephone suddenly becomes an alternative to desktop Outlook. You can access and manipulate your email, calendar, contacts and other mailbox items over the phone, thanks to built-in speech recognition...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Got it!

    • 3 Comments
    Have you noticed the sameness in the vocabulary of telephone voicebots these days? Why does everyone use that cheery got it!, damn it? Having hit probably my hundredth got it! last night - a successful recognition of a menu option (there were only...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Thinking aloud

    • 3 Comments
    Speech recognition in Vista works well for me. Dictation accuracy is very high - especially since I flicked the switch to train it on my emails and documents - and the correction experience is smooth and efficient. But I hardly use it. I find it very...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The noise of email

    • 3 Comments
    I've just switched groups at Microsoft, and for the first few days it felt strangely quiet in my new office. The acoustic background hadn't changed much: I could hear voices in the offices nearby, people still passed by in the hallway chatting (some stopped...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    The other pizza app

    • 3 Comments
    Ah, the old pizza application. I'd like a large margherita, please . The classic sample app for speech recognition dialogs. Like 'Hello World' but extended into the to and fro of conversation. Great for illustrating prompts, grammars and dialog nuances...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Numberspeak

    • 3 Comments
    One in an ongoing series on the all-too-common vocabulary found in Voicebot systems today. pressorsay n , cl. A request for the caller to choose an option by entering a number on the keypad or by speech. Effective in dehumanizing and demeaning the...
  • Working the Spoken Word

    Writing with speech

    • 3 Comments
    Speaking in last Sunday's New York Times , novelist Richard Powers tells how he has used speech recognition on his TabletPC to compose all his writings of recent years. It's a fine article - you could quote him almost anywhere on the obstacles of the...
Page 1 of 3 (73 items) 123