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Advances in Speech Technology

Techstination feature for Wednesday, October 28, 1998

Computers that understand you when you speak. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Speech recognition technology is getting better and better. More and more people are making use of software that lets you dictate text rather than type. And there are some real world applications that will make life easier, even if you don't use a computer. For instance the folks at Movie Fone are working with Lucent Technologies to change this...

"If you know the name of the movies you'd like to see, press one now. To browse through current movie titles and previews, press two now."

Into this...

"Thank you for calling the Chicagoland Movie Locator, please make your request or say help now. What's showing at the Ogden Six Theater? At the Ogden Six Theaters, Tomorrow Never Dies, rated PG 13, John Grisham's The Rainmaker, rated PG 13..."

The same kinds of speech recognition technologies will be used to let you get transportation information, even fill out a mortgage application over the phone. Unisys is using the technology at a rehab hospital in Philadelphia to help stroke victims...

"Now please try to say the whole sentence. The bird is behind the glass."

In the trials so far...patients have found using the computer to be less embarassing than working with a therapist. They can also take more time without having to worry.