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Web services communicating in the language of their user community

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Talk to the Web

New intelligent software developed by a European team of researchers allows business users to tailor speech recognition to their business needs and facilitate Web services.

Digital Economy icon Digital Economy

As the information age forges ahead, there is a need to develop Internet-based communication that is more user friendly, especially for complex business applications. The EU-funded project 'Web services communicating in the language of their user community' (WS-TALK) aided business people to define business processes and improve communication. It aimed to take the natural language of business experts (rather than the synthetic language of information technology (IT) experts) and transform it into commands that computers can easily understand. The role of IT in this case was to design semantic Web meta-information to assist the transformation process. WS-TALK has developed advanced interpreter features that analyse text and content. In technical terms, this includes development of a service execution engine (SEE) that facilitates Web service choreography, as well as vocabulary design and establishment of ontologies regarding business terminology. The software successfully differentiated between assertions, expressions and directives in human speech, enabling its adaptation to many different business settings. Armed with this success, research project partners proposed feasible solutions that the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) partners took on and transformed into prototypes, developing powerful software modules for the WS-TALK product. The SME partners then supported commercial distribution and worked with pilot users from external companies to test the software. These pilot users had submitted company-specific data and vocabulary to tailor the system to their needs. WS-TALK software and products are set to help a wide variety of applications, from support management systems and content management systems to business search engines and service integration systems. This represents yet another important step in advancing the field of information logistics in the EU.

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