Commercial applications of speech interface technology: an industry at the threshold.


Speech interface technology, which includes automatic speech recognition, synthetic speech, and natural language processing, is beginning to have a significant impact on business and personal computer use. Today, powerful and inexpensive microprocessors and improved algorithms are driving commercial applications in computer command, consumer, data entry, speech-to-text, telephone, and voice verification. Robust speaker-independent recognition systems for command and navigation in personal computers are now available; telephone-based transaction and database inquiry systems using both speech synthesis and recognition are coming into use. Large-vocabulary speech interface systems for document creation and read-aloud proofing are expanding beyond niche markets. Today's applications represent a small preview of a rich future for speech interface technology that will eventually replace keyboards with microphones and loud-speakers to give easy accessibility to increasingly intelligent machines.

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