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Lucent, Unisys in voice pact

The companies will integrate Lucent's text-to-speech and voice recognition technology with Unisys' Natural Language Speech Assistant Toolkit.

    Lucent Technologies and Unisys Corporation have joined forces in a pact aimed at furthering natural language speech recognition technology.

    The first fruits of the Lucent-Unisys alliance will be an integrated speech recognition software package for developers, the companies said.

    Voice recognition software provides a natural way for users to interact with computers and automated voice mail systems.

    The new pact will integrate Lucent's text-to-speech and voice recognition technology with Unisys' Natural Language Speech Assistant Toolkit. It is targeted at third party developers of speech applications for telephony platforms.

    Speech recognition for voice mail systems like those at banks would be an ideal application for the new software developer tools, the companies said, replacing the existing system of touch-tone dialing to choose options.

    Voice mail systems which are limited by the number-pad interface of telephones would be controlled by an unlimited number of voice-commands, according to the companies.

    "The combination of our two leading speech technologies delivers a strong solution to those developing and deploying speech-based applications," said Joe Yaworski, vice president and general manager of Unisys Natural Language Understanding initiative, in a statement.