ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings

The IBM personal speech assistant

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In this paper, we describe technology and experience with an experimental personal information manager, which interacts with the user primarily but not exclusively through speech recognition and synthesis. This device, which controls a client PDA, is known as the Personal Speech Assistant (PSA). The PSA contains complete speech recognition, speech synthesis and dialog management systems. Packaged in a hand-sized enclosure, of size and physical design to mate with the popular Palm III personal digital assistant, the PSA includes its own battery, microphone, speaker, audio input and output amplifiers, processor and memory. The PSA supports speaker-independent English speech recognition using a 500-word vocabulary, and English speech synthesis on an arbitrary vocabulary. We survey the technical issues we encountered in building the hardware and software for this device, and the solutions we implemented, including audio system design, power and space budget, speech recognition in adverse acoustic environments with constrained processing resources, dialog management, appealing applications, and overall system architecture.