Scientists at Microsoft and the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), which is affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, are researching how to use people's individual verbal communication styles to improve interactions between humans and machines.
Elizabeth Shriberg, principal scientist with Microsoft's Conversational Systems Lab and an external fellow at ICSI, says the tone, pacing, and pitch of spoken words can help clarify ambiguous speech.
Shriberg says the researchers are developing software designed to recognize speech characteristics to make talking to computers seem more natural. She says the software could determine whether a speaker is angry, rushed, or confused, and whether a pause was used to end a sentence or for emphasis.
Microsoft wants to apply the research to applications that are accessed by a voice interface. For example, the technology could be used to modify visual displays when speakers are confused or to provide help displays to gamers when they are frustrated.
From Network World
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