CATCH 2004 technology will provide the users with the immediacy of free-form spoken requests overcoming the barriers created by different languages, and with the ability to access all available types of on-line content and services with the same model of interaction. The realization of the innovative features, both technological and service oriented, and the integration of existing and emerging technologies, will result in a user-friendly system that will enable representation and transformation of information in multimodal (spoken & written) language, through different client devices, and in almost any language. The user will benefit from Voice–enabled access to the World Wide Web databases but most importantly, the system will give the ability to all users, experts and novices, to complete complex tasks. The project will perform testing of all components of the system on several Complex Service providing platforms, and verification of the functionality of the individual modules. Two demonstrators will be made available: one in the city of Athens in the context of the 2004 Olympic Games. Athens provides an excellent testing ground for the deployment of a large scale system combining HLT and other technologies to facilitate visitors, participants, and organisers. The other demonstrator will be established in the city of Helsinki to provide speech access to public city services. The city of Cologne will test and evaluate the usability of the technology and systems developed by the project. The project will disseminate its public results through a website and by writing technical papers or presenting key results in conferences or seminars. The project also intends to contribute input and directions to the IST Clustering activities. The ease of Catch 2004 communication lies in the multi-lingual, mixed-initiative platform that allows users to access any information they want, regardless of where they are delivered, in whatever format they require (written, verbal or email). The mixed-initiative interface means that Catch 2004 could ask the user questions in order to gain a response that would clarify certain areas or commands. So, whether you're traveling abroad, on the road to work, or waiting at a station, using a palmtop, mobile, computer or even the fax machine, information is accessible, comprehensible and personalized.
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