Doing Business with Your Voice

6 December 2005

6:30pm for 7.00pm

David S. Renshaw MBCS, WebSphere Voice Architect & IBM Master Inventor, IBM Software Group

Herbert Collins Building, HC024, Southampton Solent University, East Park Terrace Map

Computer speech technology has been hyped as the next great thing for more years than many of us care to remember.

Like all good(?) computer related technologies it comes with its own acronym soup so what is behind terms like ASR, TTS, NLU, VoiceXML? This talk aims to give those without a PhD in Linguistics and Acoustic Modelling an understanding of what the technologies are and how they can be, and are being, used and abused. Speech is a natural communication technology for the majority of humans and so communicating with computers through speech should make life easier for everyone.

Who is benefiting from the millions of research dollars that has been spent in this area and how? Speech technology is turning up in some unexpected situations these days and often being used in ways the researchers had not really envisaged. Some use is coming about due to businesses trying to save money in the way they handle customer enquires and others due to poor usability of other technologies or even government legislation. The talk will touch on some of these and also some that are yet to hit the streets and will hopefully provide an interesting insight into the technologies for all.

Dave Renshaw has worked for IBM at the Hursley Development Laboratory outside Winchester for 20 something years, the last 8 or so within the WebSphere Voice team as an architect for products and solutions in speech and telecommunications. Dave's focus is on building things that work and provide value for the customer and so there will be no delving into the "beauty" of the mathematics underpinning the buzzwords, just plain old English.