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News Release: World Wide Web Consortium Publishes Speech Recognition Grammar Specification

From: Janet Daly <janet@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 10:27:38 -0400
Message-ID: <3D19CF5A.98CD991A@w3.org>
To: w3c-news@w3.org

For more information the W3C Speech Recognition Grammar Candidate 
Recommendation, VoiceXML 2.0, or on the advancement of W3C's Speech 
Interface Framework, a standards-based architecture for bringing 
Voice to the Web, please contact Janet Daly, +1 617 253 5884.


Web Resources:

This Press release 
	in English: http://www.w3.org/2002/06/speech-pressrelease.html.en
	in French: http://www.w3.org/2002/06/speech-pressrelease.html.fr
	in Japanese: http://www.w3.org/2002/06/speech-pressrelease.html.ja

Testimonials from Loquendo, Nuance, Openwave Systems, Philips, 
PipeBeach, SpeechWorks, TellMe Networks, Unisys, VoiceGenie


Speech Recognition Grammar Specification

Homepage for the W3C Voice Browser Working Group

World Wide Web Consortium Publishes Speech Recognition Grammar 

Open Invitation to Test Critical Component of W3C Speech Interface

Contact Americas, Australia -- 
     Janet Daly, <janet@w3.org>, +1.617.253.5884 or +1.617.253.2613 
Contact Europe -- 
     Marie-Claire Forgue, <mcf@w3.org>, +33.492.38.75.94 
Contact Asia -- 
     Saeko Takeuchi <saeko@w3.org>, +81.466.49.1170 

http://www.w3.org/ -- 26 June 2002 -- The World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) has issued the Speech Recognition Grammar Specification as a 
W3C Candidate Recommendation. Speech grammars allow voice-based 
application authors to create rules describing what users are 
expected to say after listening to each application prompt.

Advancement of this document to Candidate Recommendation is a statement
that the specification is stable, and an invitation to the Web
development community at large to make further implementations and
provide technical feedback.

Talking and Listening to the Web Requires a Framework

The W3C Voice Browser Working Group is defining a suite of markup
languages covering dialog (VoiceXML 2.0); speech synthesis 
(Speech Synthesis Markup Language); speech recognition (Speech 
Grammar, Stochastic Language Models, Semantic Interpretation for 
Speech Recognition, Natural Language Semantics); call control
(Voice Browser Call Control: CCXML) and other aspects of interactive
voice response applications. All of these contribute to the W3C Speech
Interface Framework.

"W3C is working on expanding the Web to include access from the one
billion plus telephones worldwide," explained Dave Raggett, W3C Voice
Browser Activity lead and W3C Fellow from Openwave Systems. "People will
be able to interact via spoken commands and listening to recorded
speech, synthetic speech and music. This will also benefit people with
visual impairments or needing Web access while keeping theirs hands &
eyes free for other things."

The Speech Recognition Grammar specification is the first of the W3C
Speech Interface Framework suite to be advanced to Candidate
Recommendation status.

Speech Grammars Provide XML Rules for Understanding Speech

Speech Grammars allow authors to specify rules covering the sequences of
words that users are expected to say in particular contexts. The W3C
Speech Recognition Grammar specification defines an XML language for
context-free speech grammars.

In more practical terms, Speech grammars make it easier to allow for
variations in the way people answer questions. For example, people may
say "Yes", "Sure", or "Fine", or may say dates as "Tomorrow", "July 8th"
or "8 July". The Speech Recognition Grammar Specification provides an
XML language for application authors to define rules covering all the
expected combinations of words that users are likely to say in a given

Because the set of rules are independent of any individual markup
language, they may be used with versions of VoiceXML, or with other 
dialog markup languages.

Implementers Encouraged to Further Build on Speech Interface Framework

W3C welcomes implementation reports for the Speech Grammar
specification. The Implementation Report Plan provides an extensive set
of test cases; there is already significant implementation experience
amongst the companies involved in the W3C Voice Browser Working Group 
that developed the specification. W3C expects at least two 
interoperable implementations of each required feature in the 
specification as a condition on advancing it to Proposed Recommendation 

Leaders in Voice Industry Produce Speech Grammar Specification through
W3C Consensus-Based Process

The W3C Voice Browser Working Group consists of W3C Members and invited
experts who hold leadership roles in the development of Voice
Interaction technologies. Those active in the Speech Grammars
specification include BeVocal, Cisco Systems, Comverse, IBM, Locus
Dialogue, Lucent, Microsoft, Nuance Communications, Openwave, Philips,
PipeBeach, Scansoft, SpeechWorks International, Tellme Networks and

    Testimonials for W3C's Speech
    Recognition Grammar Candidate

    These testimonials are in support of Speech Recognition Grammar
    Press Release. 

        Loquendo | Nuance | Openwave Systems | Philips | PipeBeach |
      SpeechWorks | TellMe Networks | Unisys | VoiceGenie Technologies

       Loquendo is very pleased to have participated in the 
       collaborative effort for producing an XML-based interoperable 
       grammar formalism which is now a W3C Candidate Recommendation. 
       As a leading company in speech technologies and voice 
       platforms, Loquendo believes SRGS will be a major market driver 
       for VoiceXML speech applications.

       -- Daniele Sereno, Vice President Voice Platform, Loquendo

       As a pioneer in speech recognition technologies, Nuance is
       pleased to actively support W3C and the advancement of the
       Speech Recognition Grammar Specification to W3C Candidate
       Recommendation. We anticipate that this new open standard will
       benefit developers and end-users alike, and spur the creation of
       innovative and effective new speech applications.

       -- Lynda Kate Smith, Vice President and Chief Marketing
       Officer, Nuance

       Openwave sees the Speech Recognition Grammar Specification
       as an important step in the creation of a unified standard for
       accessing Internet content on a wide range of devices and
       modalities. Openwave continues its commitment to open
       standards, particularly with our contributions to VoiceXML 2.0
       through the efforts of Dave Raggett, Voice Browser Activity Lead,
       W3C Fellow, and Senior Architect at Openwave. We are pleased
       to see the quality of the W3C's ongoing endeavors in creating
       specifications that can be built upon by other prominent industry
       fora, such as the Open Mobile Alliance.

       -- Bruce Martin, Vice President, Technology; Openwave
       Systems Inc

       Philips Speech Processing regards standardisation key to
       creating broad adoption of a technology. That is the reason why
       we have heavily contributed to standards in the W3C Voice
       Browser working group, most notably to the Speech Recognition
       Grammars. The ability to build libraries and other re-usab
       components, even across recognisers, is essential to speeding
       up time to market and increasing quality.

       -- Matthias Pankert, Director of Product Strategy and
       Planning; Philips Speech Processing.

       PipeBeach congratulates W3C on the Speech Recognition
       Grammar Specification reaching Candidate Recommendation.
       Through our CTO, Dr. Scott McGlashan, PipeBeach is a leading
       contributor to W3C speech standards, including VoiceXML 2.0.
       We see the grammar specification as a powerful business
       enabler for the rapid development of interoperable speech
       services. The PipeBeach speechWeb platform provides extensive
       multi-lingual support for the grammar specification using
       world-class recognition engines. We are proud to have deployed
       our speechWeb platform with European mobile operators since

       -- Christer Granberg, Chief Executive Officer, PipeBeach

       SpeechWorks welcomes the advancement of the Speech
       Recognition Grammar Specification to W3C Candidate
       Recommendation as part of a set of standards that facilitates
       easy, portable application development for speech-enabled
       services. SpeechWorks has demonstrated its commitment to
       W3C open standards by taking the responsibility for lead
       editorship for this new specification. Our partners and customers
       have embraced SpeechWorks' OpenSpeech product suite which
       fully supports this specification, VoiceXML 2.0 and other W3C

       -- Steve Chambers, Chief Marketing Officer, SpeechWorks

       Today marks another important milestone in the growth and
       maturity of VoiceXML. A vendor-independent grammar standard
       is a significant development for the industry, enhancing the
       flexibility and portability VoiceXML 2.0 gives to large 
       enterprises working with partners like Tellme to transform 
       how they use the phone in their business.

       -- Brad Porter, Platform Architect, Tellme Networks

       Unisys believes that the work done by the W3C Voice Browser
       Working Group in developing a standard for speech grammars
       represents a major step toward interoperability of speech
       applications and therefore intends to incorporate W3C grammar
       support into Unisys Voice Portal Solutions. A standard grammar
       format will benefit Unisys customers by reducing application
       development time, improving reusability of applications, and
       reducing development costs because it will no longer be
       necessary to support multiple proprietary grammar formats.

       -- Larry Srader, vice president, Strategy and Marketing,
       Unisys Global Communications Industry

       VoiceGenie is committed to being a key player in the evolution 
       of the voice services industry. As such, we fully support W3C's
       initiatives to establish standardization processes to facilitate 
       the integration of diverse speech technologies. The introduction  
       of open standards for speech recognition grammar specifications
       with speech resources will be a great step forward in providing
       customers with best-of-breed choices for ASR.

       -- Stuart Berkowitz, President & CEO; VoiceGenie
       Technologies Inc.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The W3C was created to lead the Web to its full potential by developing
common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its
interoperability. It is an international industry consortium jointly run
by the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT LCS) in the USA, the
National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA)
in France and Keio University in Japan. Services provided by the
Consortium include: a repository of information about the World Wide Web
for developers and users, and various prototype and sample applications
to demonstrate use of new technology. To date, nearly 500 organizations
are Members of the Consortium. For more information see
Received on Wednesday, 26 June 2002 10:27:39 UTC

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