Zayed University makes plans for bilingual portal

Zayed University partners with Intel, Sakhr Software and Emerging Technologies to produce a bilingual voice portal.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  December 19, 2002

Zayed University has teamed up with Intel, local development house, Sakhr Software and Abu Dhabi speech recognition vendor, Emerging Technologies to produce a bilingual voice portal.

The four organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a voice portal that encourages pan-Arab R&D between educational establishments.

The agreement is part of the broader vision to provide a platform for the development of common language, pan-Arab research in conjunction with industry and the university research and education authorities.

“The research projects targeted under the agreement would be accomplished by selected experts in Zayed University with the participation of undergraduate and graduate students,” says Dr. Hanif Al Qassimi, vice president of Zayed University.

“The agreement is unprecedented in the Arab region and has been undertaken to provide Arabic speakers verbal access to browse the Internet by giving orders to their computers through voice portals. All research work will be supervised through Zayed University’s Institute for Technological Innovation (ITI),” he adds.

University experts trained on voice portals and the related development technology will supervise students attending ITI based at Dubai Media City (DMC).

“The project will begin with a ‘Voice Portal Reference System Platform’ via Intel’s technology partner Emerging Technologies. The portal would be hosted at the ITI. Sakhr Software would provide the speech recognition and synthesis --Text-To-Speech-- software for the purpose of building voice portals and would also allow access to research and development support [needed] enhance these portals,” says Dr. Habib Talhami, Associate Professor, College of Information Systems.

“With the assistance of ZU graduates and undergraduates, the team will begin their studies over using Arabic language voices with its different dialects in the researches to serve both commercial and economic fields,” he adds.

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