IBM & KACST work on Arabic speech recognition

IBM and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have formed a joint Arabic speech recognition project. The program aims to allow people to communicate over the phone with computers in Arabic.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  June 18, 2002

IBM and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) have formed a joint Arabic speech recognition project. The program aims to allow people to communicate over the phone with computers in Arabic.

The project will leverage on the Arabic phonetics database at KACST’s Computer and Electronics Research Institute, which contains more than 46,000 files. Each file contains a sample of Arabic sounds for use in speech recognition projects.

When complete, the project will allow Arabic speakers to ‘converse’ with a computer over the telephone. This will speed up customer service, as companies will no longer need to employ a person to answer every call.

IBM will integrate the Arabic product into its multilingual conversation engine, which will form the core of an intelligent voice response system. At first, it will just work with simple options from a ‘menu,’ but the future goal is to design a computer that can intelligent talk back.

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