Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Train times? Yes, ask the machine

10.10.2003


Robots, machines that speak, answering machines that understand what we say ... will be soon a regular part of our daily life. Concretely the University of the Basque Country (EHU/UPV), together with the universities of Zaragoza and Valencia, is developing a system capable of recognising speech. The aim of the project is to develop a machine which responds automatically to the user who asks for information about trains and timetables.

The machine will be able to recognise the voice of the person asking for information, understand what is being said and then find the data and respond appropriately. In order to carry this function out, the machine will have to synthesise the voice.

Speech recognition



The first step the machine has to take is speech recognition. This function is being developed by the UPV/EHU research group which first has had to gather together all the phonemes in a language, in this case Spanish and to these are then added information about different manners of pronunciation and about coarticulation. It is well known that a phoneme is pronounced in a differentiated manner depending on what precedes or follows it – this is known as coarticulation. Moreover, the differences that can arise depending on context are also taken into account. Finally, with all this data, phoneme patterns are drawn up.

In a second phase, the pattern of the language is completed; the pattern which, in this context, is to be used. Given that the language register used in the questions is limited in breadth and depth – the language of aerospace, for example, is not going to be used - a person asking for information about trains uses a specific, limited register of words and expressions.

Subsequently, the phonemes and language patterns are unified and features of spontaneous speech are added; for example, the pauses that we make between one word and another, linguistic fillers or other sounds without meaning, repetitions and so on.

Once all these patterns are unified, the research team drew up an information programme which can carry out a statistic analysis of those questions and the ways of effecting them as represented in samples and interprets what the end-user is saying in each case. Thus, it can be said that understanding speech is the first step.

Subsequently, the system developed by UPV/EHU is integrated with the rest of the units involved: that of conversation management, the one that seeks the date asked for, the unit that creates the response, that which synthesises the voice and, finally, the unit that transmits the information. Moreover, these units are not located in one, single site but are spread out in Zaragoza, Valencia and Leioa (the Bilbao campus of the Basque University) and, thus, large amounts of information are sent in real time.

Because of this the system has to be secure and, moreover, having the units physically separated confers another advantage on the system: it is modular. So, if one of the units fails, it is only a matter of fixing or changing that unit.

Contact :
Garazi Andonegi
ELHUYAR Fundazioa
garazi@elhuyar.com
(+34) 943363040

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&Berri_Kod=336&hizk=I
http://www.ehu.es

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht 3-D scanning with water
24.07.2017 | Association for Computing Machinery

nachricht Defining the backbone of future mobile internet access
21.07.2017 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ultrathin device harvests electricity from human motion

24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Scientists announce the quest for high-index materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

ADIR Project: Lasers Recover Valuable Materials

24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>