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Improved Speech Intelligibility and Automatic Speech-to-Text Conversion for Call Centers

21.02.2017

At Call Center World (CCW), taking place February 21 – 23 in Berlin, Fraunhofer IDMT will be presenting state-of-the-art software solutions for improved speech intelligibility and automatic speech-to-text conversion.

The work in call centers is characterized by high levels of ambient noise. Under such difficult acoustic conditions, focusing on the telephone conversation with the customer and simultaneously retrieving information from various databases requires utmost concentration from the call center agent.


Thanks to the Fraunhofer solution for improved speech intelligibility users can adjust sound and volume to their individual hearing needs.

Thinkstock/Wavebreakmedia Ltd

At CCW, the largest international conference and trade show for call center management in Europe, the Fraunhofer experts from the Hearing, Speech, and Audio Technology project group will be presenting two solutions offering effective support in the everyday work of call center agents.

Fraunhofer’s system for improved speech intelligibility can easily be integrated with any telephone system and headset. Over a user interface of the PC or end device, the user may select from a number of preset signal outputs the one deemed most convenient in terms of sound and volume. The signal of each incoming call can then be adjusted to the user’s individual hearing needs. In addition, background noise interfering with the telephone conversation is filtered out from the signal.

»At the heart of the system is a very intelligent signal processing algorithm, which allows significant improvement of speech intelligibility, regardless of whether the signal is of good or poor quality«, says Dr. Jan Rennies-Hochmuth of Fraunhofer IDMT. »The system enables also users with an impaired hearing ability to conduct effective telephone conversations, even in noisy environments«.

The second solution to be presented by Fraunhofer allows automatic conversion of oral conversations into written text, including search for keywords. »The idea behind this solution is that during the conversation the call center agent is being offered data and information assisting in the customer care process. But the system is also able to automatically identify the agent most capable of processing the request, who may then take over the call«, explains Jan Rennies-Hochmuth.

As a highly beneficial side effect, the system helps meet the obligation for call center operators to document all telephone conversations between their agents and the customers. Compliance with data privacy regulations, which is another obligation to be kept by call center operators, is ensured at any time, as the speech recognition software runs on the computers of the call center (i.e., no data is stored in the cloud).

Please feel free to stop by Booth C11 in Hall 2, and get to know Fraunhofer’s state-of-the-art solutions for improved speech intelligibility and automatic speech-to-text conversion.

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.idmt.fraunhofer.de/en/hsa/research_fields/hearing_assistance.html - Research Area Hearing Assistance

Julia Hallebach | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

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