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Speech Technology Gets Scary

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, October 27, 1999

Browsing the web, with your voice. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Some of the biggest names in technology... .Lucent, AT&T, Motorola have been working on new standards that will soon let you tap into the wealth of information on the web... by using your voice ... over a phone. For instance, says Motorola's Rick Dixon, you could call a web site to get flight information...

"British Airways. Please say the flight number." "6493." "Looking up British Airways flight 6493."

Computers are getting better at recognizing speech and being able to respond. Imagine being able to call to have a computer generated conversation with a celebrity... .or an impersonator...

"Hello, this is Arnold. Would you like to talk about my movies, weightlifting career, or maybe my family." "Tell me about Terminator" "I've been told that the first Terminator movie launched me to stardom, but to be honest, I just liked playing with the guns." "Where were you born?" "I was born in Graz, Austria on July 30th, 1947."

Unisys VP Joe Yaworski...

"This is a very fun application. But there are a tremendous number of business applications such as scheduling airline reservations to being able to get all sorts or types of information or perform transactions, basically by calling on the phone, using your voice and having a system respond very similar to this one."

Is it live? Or is that voice on the other end coming from a chip? A little scary.