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Re: Feedback on Roadmap

From: Stephane Boyera <boyera@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 11:35:50 +0200
Message-ID: <4AB89A76.3030401@w3.org>
To: Arun Kumar <kkarun@in.ibm.com>
CC: public-mw4d@w3.org
Hi Arun,

we discussed your comments yesterday and i wanted to share with you the 
proposed resolutions to see if they fit you before i proceed to the 
implementation in the document.

> A.  Access Challenges: Accessibility  [Section 6.1.1]
> The first paragraph mentions that Accessibility is at least as equally
> critical in Developing Countries as in Developed Countries. The WHO
> reference about Visually Impaired people in developing countries that
> follows in the next statement, however, suggests that the problem of
> accessibility is probably more severe in Developing Countries. Reasons
> include un-affordability of expensive assistive devices and technologies,
> non-english speaking population and illiteracy etc. Further, as in the
> visually impaired case referred above, a bulk of population needing but
> deprived of such technologies reside in developing countries.

We were not sure to understand the essence of this comment; is it just a 
wording issue and removing the 'as equally' would be enough ? or are you 
proposing something else ?
i think we all agree to emphasis on this issue, and it might indeed to 
be really useful to compare it with developed countries, but if you have 
something else in mind let us know.

> B .  Costs  [Section 6.1.5]
> It is mentioned that Voice applications use the voice channel and it is
> costliest as the charges are based upon the length of the call.  With the
> innovative strategies and value-adds that several telecom operators are
> coming up with, this may not longer remain an issue. For instance, a couple
> of major telecom providers (especially Reliance communications) in India
> offer free calls to either a limited set of phone numbers or to callers
> within the same telco's network or during non-peak hours (such as in the
> night).
> http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=19268
> http://www.efytimes.com/e1/fullnews.asp?edid=15716
> Most recently, another operator - Tata Indicom, has started offering
> pay-per-call charging model, making call charges free of per-minute rate.
> http://teck.in/pay-per-call-prepaid-plan-of-tata-indicom-and-tata-teleservices.html

Right; The current situation is that the costs of voice communication is 
high, and is a barrier for most potential users. Moreover, the quantity 
of information conveyed by voice applications for a specific amount of 
time is far lower than for other technologies. So, as of today, the 
costs for the user is the highest for voice apps. However, your examples 
demonstrats that this might change in the future, and like for data 
services, there might be free/cheap flat rate plan for voice call in the 
future. This is just perhaps a matter of regulation and/or competitions.
So i propose to add this in the document, stating that this is the case 
for now, but there are evidences that this may change in a near future.
would that answer your comment ?

> 1)
> A major challenge listed in the Weakness of Voice Applications sub-section
> is related to expertise required for building voice applications, i.e.
> expertise required to use voice modality on mobiles to provide an authoring
> platform. As rightly mentioned in the roadmap, authoring of a voice
> application has not been an easy task. However, the state-of-the-art here
> has already advanced. This should probably be reflected in the document.
> Using the Spoken Web system (mentioned in Examples in Section 7.1),
> ordinary phone subscribers can create their own Voice applications in a
> matter or few minutes. These voice application creators can be non-IT
> literate or even completely illiterate and can create the applications in
> their own local language using an ordinary lowest end mobile phone.
> More details on the system are available in the articles mentioned below
> and I would be happy to give a 15-20 min. live demo of VoiceSite creation
> technology in the next conference call, if there is interest.
> [a]  VOISERV: Creation and Delivery of Converged Services through Voice for
> Emerging Economies
> https://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_people.nsf/pages/arun_kumar.pubs.html/$FILE/VOISERV-IEEE-WowMom2007.pdf.
> [b] VoiKiosk : Content Creation and Dissemination by-and-for Users in Rural
> Areas
> http://mobileactive.org/research/voikiosk-content-creation-and-dissemination-and-users-rural-areas
> [c] FOLKSOMAPS - Towards Community Driven Intelligent Maps for Developing
> Regions
> http://www.researchintouse.com/downloads/spokenweb/Folksomaps_-_ICTD_09_-_April_09.pdf.

right. i'm happy to mention this as a side note. This is not a 
characteristic of the technology, but just an extra layer on top of it, 
in same way as CMS, blog engines and so on. Moreover, this falls in the 
category of mobile as an authoring platform which has been considered 
out of the scope of this document.
so i propose to mention that as  note in the section. Would that be ok 
with you ?

> 2)
> A concern related to user issues is the challenge of discoverability of
> voice applications. While complete automated indexing of voice applications
> and search is still in its infancy, it is also not impossible for someone
> to discover available services offered as voice applications. Manually or
> semi-automatically created directories could provide phone numbers of
> various businesses registered with them. This could be done either through
> call center operations as in http://www.JustDial.com or through voice
> search as being done by Ubona (
> http://www.webyantra.net/2007/11/08/ubonavoice-search-engine-for-bangalore/
> ) and GOOG-4-1-1 (http://www.google.com/goog411/ ).  Here, the phone
> numbers returned would actually represent voice applications deployed
> against them.
> Such directory services can very well be used for discoverability of voice
> applications. This is similar to the initial pre-search engine days of the
> web when online sources such as Yahoo Directory containing categorized
> content represented the primary source of discovering information on the
> web. So, directories can serve the purpose of discoverability while search
> technologies for Voice applications mature.

for me this is more a hack around the technology to fix an issue rather 
than a feature.
Moreover, with voicexml applications it is very easy to build portals 
and create links to third parties applications. this is far harder with 
traditionnal voice apps which would require call transfer to another 
numero, which is far more tricky to implement.
So in conclusion, i'm happy to add a bit that mention the fact that 
portals are possible and easy to do with voicexml, possible with voice 
apps, but there is no built-in discoverability features. would that be 
ok with you ?
> 3)
> Another issue mentioned is that the lifetime of the information is short
> and cannot be stored and shared. Technologically it is not difficult to
> provide. I believe such applications are not in vogue only because
> businesses and other organizations have not yet realized the need to
> explore the use of such means. This is changing too. For instance, in an
> ongoing commercial pilot described at
> http://hci.stanford.edu/research/otalo/ , Development Support Center (DSC)
> - an NGO in Western Indian state of Gujarat runs a bi-weekly community
> radio program about Agricultural best practices. It has an estimated
> viewership of 5,00,000 farmers. It makes use of a VoiceSite (a voice
> application in Spoken Web) that acts as a complimentary feedback channel
> for the radio program and also serves as an archive of those radio programs
> to be listened to later (by calling up the VoiceSite). In addition, expert
> advice given to farmers, questions asked by others as well as discussion
> threads among farmers themselves are captured and automatically made
> available on the VoiceSite.

i believe there are two aspects:
1- the ability to access and reuse an answer without interacting again 
with the service
2- the ability to access previous results.
  i'm only talking about the point 1. here, while sms are automatically 
stored in the phone of the users, or while web pages are cached in the 
browser, the information received through a voice call is transient for 
the user. It is possible at the application level to implement a 
workaround through e.g. droppin the result of the query to an sms or as 
a voicemail msg in the user voicemail box, but this is not handled at 
the technology level. I propose to mention that. would that be ok with you ?

> 4)
> I agree with the suggestion in Future Directions subsection, that hosting
> services similar to Tell Me are needed for large scale deployment of Voice
> applications. Along with that we also need packaged software/hardware
> 'appliances' to let individuals setup their own low scale voice application
> creation and hosting using desktop PCs and a couple of incoming phone
> lines.*

this is very good point. I very briefly mentionned it in section 6.2.3 
but i will add some words in the voice sections, as this is a very 
important points. it should appears also in the support actions*

Thanks a gain for your comments, and please let us know how you feel 
about these answers

> thanks and regards
> Arun Kumar
> IBM Research - India
> kkarun@in.ibm.com
> Spoken Web (aka World Wide Telecom Web) :
> http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_people.nsf/pages/arun_kumar.WWTW.html
> "Websites that use the spoken word will empower the illiterate" -
> (http://www.economist.com/sciencetechnology/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13855374
>  )
>              Stephane Boyera                                               
>              <boyera@w3.org>                                               
>              Sent by:                                                   To 
>              public-mw4d-reque         Renjish Kumar                       
>              st@w3.org                 <renjish.kumar@gmail.com>           
>                                                                         cc 
>                                        public-mw4d@w3.org                  
>              08/27/2009 07:57                                      Subject 
>              PM                        Re: Feedback till section 4 and     
>                                        objectives revised version          
> Dear Renjish,
> thanks a lot for your extensive review o fthe first parts. i integrated
> most of your corrections in the documents except few of them:
> - the change in the structure (respective place of scope and exec summary)
> - your proposed objectives section, as you were using an old version and
> not the latest one provided by mira.
> - the change in the audience section
> the first and the third point should be discussed during the september 7
> teleconf to see where is the agreement in the group.
> Concerning the second point, please review the new objective session
> provided by mira and online now.
> Thanks again for the work
> Stephane
> Renjish Kumar a écrit :
>> Hello,
>>    Attached are my comments and corrections (as track changes) on the
>> roadmap doc till section 4. A revised version of the objectives section
>> is also attached for your reference.....
>> I am still in the process of going through the entire document.... sorry
>> for this late entry after a long break... I was pressed for time due to
>> some personal emergency during the last couple of months... but hope
>> better late than never....
>> Regards
>> Renjish
> --
> Stephane Boyera                      stephane@w3.org
> W3C                                              +33 (0) 5 61 86 13 08
> BP 93                                            fax: +33 (0) 4 92 38 78 22
> F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,
> France

Stephane Boyera		stephane@w3.org
W3C				+33 (0) 5 61 86 13 08
BP 93				fax: +33 (0) 4 92 38 78 22
F-06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex,		
Received on Tuesday, 22 September 2009 09:35:53 UTC

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