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AT&T hopes to make Watson key element in mobile apps

Company will launch several Watson Speech APIs in June and will also offer up a software development kit for the speech recognition technology.

A visualization of AT&T's Watson.
A visualization of AT&T's Watson AT&T

AT&T has been involved in the speech recognition space for years. And now, the company wants to share with others what it's achieved.

The company announced today that it will make several AT&T Watson Speech application programming interfaces (APIs) available to developers in June. With the help of those APIs, developers will be able to create new apps and services that rely upon AT&T's Watson speech recognition technology.

The first set of APIs that AT&T plans to release will focus on Web search, question-and-answer, SMS, and dictation, among other areas, the company said. In addition, it will offer up a software development kit (SDK) for those developers who want to "capture a user's spoken words and send them into the network for transcription." AT&T says that the SDK should make it easy to integrate Watson into existing apps.

Although Apple's Siri speech recognition platform gets much of the attention in the mobile space,AT&T has been competing there for years. The platform has been refined by AT&T Labs, and according to the company, has helped it secure more than 600 patents related to speech recognition. Watson is currently available in YPMobile, among several other AT&T applications.

Looking ahead, AT&T says that it will continue to make Watson APIs available that focus on other disciplines, including gaming and social media.