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Designing Effective Speech Interfaces by Dean T. Barker, Susan Weinschenk

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Interview with S. Ahmed Reza

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Vice President

Speech Recognition-based Systems

Speech Interface Design, Inc.

S. Ahmed Reza is vice president at Speech Interface Design, Inc., in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr. Reza has been involved with industrial data collection for the past 15 years, and speech recognition-based systems for the past 10 years. In the following interview he talks about his successes and challenges.

Tell me about your work and your company.

Speech Interface Design has been around since 1993. We're a provider of complete speech solutions for industrial, commercial, warehousing, and other business applications.

I categorize the speech market in four categories:

  • dictation, which includes medical and legal
  • command-and-control, where you command your cursor to go up, down, or backward, and read back to you
  • telephony, where you call AT&T universal card services, for example, and they ask you to speak your 16-digit card number
  • our market: industrial/commercial/warehousing

Our market is by far the least recognized or obvious market for speech. One of the parameters of speech is speaker-dependence—how dependent the system is on who the speaker is. The holy grail is, of course, speaker independence and a large vocabulary. Speaker-dependence is one parameter; vocabulary size is another parameter. The third parameter is ambient noise. In those three parameters, our applications ...

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