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Using Speech Recognition to Teach Reading

Boot Camp feature for Monday, February 12, 2007

Using speech recognition to teach children to read. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. IBM has launched a two million dollar global grant program to promote literacy among children and adults. And part of the program is the use of the company's Reading Companion literacy technology. IBM vice president Lauren States, who is also co-chair of Black Family Technology Awareness Week…

"Black Family Technology Awareness Week is a program that we've been doing for eight years in partnership with Career Communications to really promote math and science with black children so that they can be competitive for the jobs of the future and also understand how technology impacts quality of life."

The Reading Companion component was added this year. It is Web based software available through schools…

"It'll read a sentence to you, and you read it back, and the program will tell you how you are doing. So if you did a great job, it'll say that's terrific and go on to the next sentence and continue to help you with your reading skills and pronunciation. And the more proficient you get, the more reading that you do and the less reading that the program does for you. So it really, over the course of time, as the kids' skill improve, becomes a little less interactive and a little more instructive."

A variety of e-books work with the Reading Companion software…which uses the speech recognition technology IBM has been developing for years. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.