SpeechTEK West 2007

Is voice search the "next big thing" in wireless applications using speech technology? That is just one of the questions a global network of speech technology providers, users, and practitioners will address at the 2007 SpeechTEK West Conference and Exposition February 21-23 at the Hilton San Francisco.

A special voice and audio search track at SpeechTEK West, supplemented with coverage in mobility and technology tracks, will address issues such as whether voice search over the telephone or the Web will or will not become as lucrative as traditional technologies used by sophisticated search engines on the Web.

Meisel makes a distinction between voice and audio search. "Voice search, " as an analogy to Web search, will largely be a telephone application, usually from wireless phones, he says. Speech recognition will help solve the usability issue that has made these small devices difficult to use in conventional Web surfing.

"Audio search" is usually a Web application done from a PC in which the user enters a text search, but the search is extended to audio sources such as podcasts or the audio portion of video. These audio sources have been pre-processed to make them searchable by a text search, using speech recognition and similar speech technologies to process the audio.

Speech technology can also help provide efficient access to information on wireless devices by reducing the number of results generated by a search using a dialogue to narrow the search. The search results are more compact on small screens and may even be compact enough to be spoken to the caller the latter an obvious advantage while driving, for example.

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