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IBM develops speech recognition software for Hindi

19 August, 2007

There's good news for Hindi-speaking computer users in India. IBM has developed a speech recognition software in Hindi.

By doing do, the company said it hopes to help physically challenged and less literate Hindi speakers to access information using a variety of applications.

The Hindi language uses the Devnagri script, which is quite complicated when compared to the English language.

The new software, called the Desktop Hindi Speech Recognition technology, was developed by the IBM India Software Lab jointly with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing.

The new IBM technology could help provide a natural interface for human-computer interaction.

According to Dr Daniel Dias, director of IBM Indian Research Laboratory, the technology – which helps transcribe continuous Hindi speech instantly into text form – could find use in a variety of applications like voice-enabled automated teller machines (ATMs), car navigation systems, banking, telecom, railways, and airlines.

In addition, the technology could enable the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing to ensure a high level of accuracy in Hindi translation in a number of areas like administration, finance, agriculture, and the small-scale industry.

The IBM Desktop Hindi Speech Recognition software is capable of recognizing over 75,000 Hindi words with dialectical variations, providing an accuracy of 90% to 95%. Moreover, this software has an integrated spellchecker that corrects spoken-word errors, thereby enhancing the accuracy to a great extent.

The Desktop Hindi Speech Recognition technology also integrates a number of user-friendly features such as the facility to convert text to digits and decimals, date and currency format, and into fonts which could be imported to any Windows-based application.

IBM is not alone in making it easier for computer users to type in regional languages. Hewlett Packard (HP) has developed a touch-pad, which they call a gesture pad, to make it easier to handle Hindi.

In comparison, IBM’s Desktop Hindi Speech Recognition technology could be used by a larger segment of society as it is based on speech and hence
does not require the user to use a keyboard.





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