IBM: let's talk to our SOAs

You have to admit, voice recognition technology has come a long way. When I call my mortgage or credit card company to check on a balance, I now get a very friendly voice that prompts me with such conversational phrases such as: "Okay...

You have to admit, voice recognition technology has come a long way. When I call my mortgage or credit card company to check on a balance, I now get a very friendly voice that prompts me with such conversational phrases such as: "Okay...  just a minute while I access your account." Isn't that special!  But it's still voice mail jail, just with a friendlier-sounding robot. 

For some time, there's been talk of having interactive voice recognition (IVR) systems, Web e-commerce systems, and live customer contact representatives accessing the same data on the same systems in real time. That's the front-end to SOA, and SOA is making this reuse of systems and services possible as they connect to channels.

There are many types of services that an be exposed through a service-oriented architecture, and IBM is pitching speech recognition technology as one that could change the world.

The potential of speech-based services was on display at this week's Speech Technology Innovation Conference in New York. As relayed in a report in Internet News, speech technology has moved far behind simple dictation or transcription software. 

For example, a a speech-to-text-to-speech translator deployed in Iraq last year may help bridge the communications gap between Iraqis, Americans, and British. And, as noted above, there are plenty of corporate applications of voice recognition technologies, which will help complete that last mile of SOA frameworks -- interfaces to the customer.

Brian Garr, program manager of advanced technologies at IBM, said that speech services will play an important role as interfaces to customers. "At the end of the day, you've got to complete a transaction, and what we want to achieve is ubiquity across all modalities," he is quoted as saying. "Voice is the interactive portion and one of the core competencies of the services oriented architecture." IBM is positioning speech/voice as a core component of its SOA and information-on-demand offerings, he added.

Imagine that, being able to talk to your SOA.  

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