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E-Mail Access through the Telephone Using Speech Technology Resources

Objective

The E-MATTER project aims to develop a system prototype to allow multilingual access to e-mail through the telephone network. The system will initially aim to operate in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque as well as in English and Spanish. Using the E-MATTER system, once an e-mail message has been selected, the system will automatically determine its language, correct misspelling errors and then read the message using a text-to-speech converter in the appropriate language. Additionally, the user will be able to connect to a windows based interface to allow him to configure his profile parameters like native language, e-mail filters, etc. The system architecture of E-MATTER is such that it can easily be configured to accommodate additional new languages.
Objectives:
The result of this project will be a multilingual spontaneous speech dialogue system that will provide e-mail access over the telephone, i.e. the user will be able to listen to the list of received e-mail messages, select one of them, listen to it, and replay and reply it. Once an e-mail message has been selected, the system will detect its language, correct misspelling errors and then read the message using a text to speech converter in the appropriate language. Additionally, the user will be able to connect to a windows based interface to enrol him/herself and configure some user profile parameters like native language, e-mail filters, etc. The system will be able to read e-mail messages in all the languages of Spain (Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque) and in two more European languages (English and French) and the system architecture will easily allow the addition of new languages. Users will talk to the system in Spanish and Catalan.

Work description:
The E-MATTER project will develop a system prototype to gain access to e-mail through the telephone network. This prototype will combine multilingual continuous speech recognition, multilingual text to speech conversion, semantic parsing, dialogue management, language identification and text verification techniques to provide users with a high quality automatic service. The prototype will be built by using the already available software libraries of the Telefonicas Speech Software (TSS) and the new speech recognition, language identification and text verification techniques libraries that will be developed in the project. We will also adapt speech recognition to Catalan, text verification to Catalan, English and Galician and language identification to French, Catalan, Galician and Basque. Additionally, we will develop a decision mechanism for the text verification system and will implement and test the prototype. The E-MATTER project directly addresses one of the goals of trials projects, which is the adaptation of existing leading edge technology (promising but not yet fully established) to produce new products for service applications. Additionally, it will help realise the potential benefits of spoken language interfaces as a medium for the User Friendly Information Society, since the central objective of E-MATTER is to develop a prototype for an e-mail access service that will use a multilingual spoken language interface (both input and output) and that will take into account the cultural and linguistic diversity nature of the e-mail messages. This prototype will therefore make e-mail universally and seamlessly accessible to all through an affordable telephone based service. Additionally, E-MATTER is involved in the convergence of information processing and communications and helps to reach the goal of interoperability of two separate communication networks: the PSTN and the IP networks.

Milestones:
The E-MATTER project is composed of 17 milestones that correspond to the completion of 17 project deliverables. The expected result is a system prototype that will provide users with access to their e-mail messages and that is suitable to be used in real applications.
The general goals of the system have been achieved: the system has been completed, it works correctly, and its features are the expected ones. This, at the same time, will be the first step of the fulfilment of the final business targets that will be completed in the future. The user of the system is able to: listen to his/her email contents, classify the different emails received, answer them (an audio file with the user's utterance is attached to the answer), and so on.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

TELEFONICA INVESTIGACION Y DESARROLLO SA
Address
Calle Emilio Vargas 6
28043 Madrid
Spain

Participants (3)

TERRA NETWORKS SA
Spain
Address
Cl Nicaragua 54
08029 Barcelona
UNIVERSIDAD POLITECNICA DE MADRID
Spain
Address
Avenida Ramiro De Maeztu 7
28040 Madrid
UNIVERSITAD DE BARCELONA
Spain
Address
Gran Via Corts Catalanes 585
08007 Barcelona