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Home > City Resources > Computers and Internet > IT Feature

New era in handheld
Indian English Via Voice
Taking IT to the Masses
A Social Dimension
Dr Sankaran P Raghunathan
N. Parameshwaran
A Akthar Hussain
The Indian English Via Voice software, developed by Speech and Software Technologies Limited (SSITL), a Tata enterprise, is a speech recognition software, wherein you talk and it types. You can navigate, create documents, letters, e-mails, reports, proposals and plans - all with the power of your voice. Navigation is possible in the sense that, you can ask the software to open a particular programme for you. A typical example will be, "Open programs, accessories and calculator". You can talk into the calculator and get all your calculations done with your voice.

This software can be used to dictate directly into Microsoft windows applications, to control the PC by launching and executing programs with your voice. The commands used are in everday language. For example, when you want to insert a table, pause and say, "Insert a table with three rows and four columns". We can also have the e-mail or text read back with Via Voice Outloud text-to-speech. This software has a vocabulary base of 64,000 words, with a capacity to expand further. speaks to Hari Saravanan of SSTIL, to know more about the software.

Is it possible to recognise any voice?

No, not right now. We are probably still some 5 years away from speaker independent recognition software. Right now, the user has to make the software get accustomed to his voice, by reading out a specific number of sentences.

Is the software going to make secretarial jobs redundant?

No, we still need human interface to ensure that the documents are 100% error free, to take printouts, send faxes etc. Its the usual fear associated with any new invention, that it will lead to unemployment. However, it has been proved time and again, that most new inventions have created more jobs. In fact, in many companies, the secretaries have come forward to buy this software for their bosses, as it saves time and the boss can just dictate the letter into the recorder and the secretary can take it up later for editing or printing.

What about Medical Transcription. Is the Industry going to suffer?

No, not at all. This software has been available overseas for almost 6 to 7 years now, and MT has taken off in India in the last few years. So it just goes to show that it may not have any affect on the industry as such. The reason for this is, doctors speak at an abnormal speed and the software has got some limitations on this count.

Apart from Corporates who else can make use of this software?

We are also targetting housewives and students.

Author : Anuradha Sriraman
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