What's Wrong With Speech Recognition
Dr. Jordan R. Cohen, Dragon Systems

Speech Recognition is achieving remarkable technical and financial success in the marketplace. Computation and memory have now advanced so that they support the significant demands of statistically based transformation of acoustics to words.

The current solutions are not a panacea, and they do not exhibit the characteristics of even a competent 4-year old in the ability to account for dialects, speaking style, or acoustic variability. Speech technology advances at a predictable rate, parallel to that of the increase in computational speed and memory size. The larger scientific issues remain unaddressed.

One is tempted to examine the history of science for guidance in taking the next large step in speech research. What are the scientific issues, and how does one progress from the current state to one of competent speech manipulation? This talk will examine the issues from the perspective of the history of Astronomy. We will assess where we are and where we go from here.

As an added bonus there will be some demonstrations about the state of the art.

Jordan Cohen is the Director of Business Relations at Dragon Systems, Inc. Dragon is the world leader in dictation software, and sells a complete line of Naturally Speaking software for home and business use.

Jordan has been at Dragon for 3 months, and was previously a Research Staff Member at the Institute for Defense Analysis in Princeton, NJ; a staff member of the Continuous Speech Recognition Research Group at IBM T. J. Watson Research Labs, and an employee of the National Security Agency. He has attempted to break speech recognition systems for 30 years, accomplishing this goal more often than was sensible, but not enough to figure out what was going on!

This joint meeting of Worcester County Chapter and Computer Society Chapter, IEEE will be held on October 21, 1999, 7:00 PM at the Compaq Computer Corporation Amphitheater, 334 South St., Shrewsbury, MA


From the East, Take Route 9 from Route 495, go several miles on Rt. 9 (through Westboro & Northboro to Shrewsbury). After passing the Rt. 20 interchange, make a left at the next traffic light onto South St. The Ragsdale Superstore is on the Southeast corner. From the West, take Route 9 East (Worcester, to Shrewsbury). After passing the Route 140 interchange, make a right at the next light onto South St.

Compaq is located up the hill on the right. Enter the main entrance; the amphitheater is up the stairs on the left.