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Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee Newsletter

January 2009

Welcome to the Winter 2009 edition of the IEEE Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee's Newsletter.

Editors Mike Seltzer, Stephen Cox, and Brian Mak completed their three-year terms in December 2009, and this is the first edition produced by the next slate of editors, Jason Williams, Pino Di Fabbrizio, and Chuck Wooters. Thanks to Mike, Stephen and Brian for their support in getting us started! Over the next 3 years, we look forward to maintaining the high standards Mike and his team have established.

This newsletter is our first on the website -- thanks to the great crew at IEEE for getting us running here.

Thanks also to Bano Banerjee, Svetlana Stoyanchev, and Anotonio Roque -- our trusty senior staff reporters -- for continuing to serve. I'm delighted they will continue to write articles, and also get their feet wet with reviewing for the newsletter. In addition, it is a pleasure to introduce two new staff reporters, Annie Louis and Filip Jurcicek. Annie is a PhD candidate at University of Pennsylvania, and Filip is a post-doc at the University of Cambridge, UK.

In addition to articles from our reporters, guest articles are always welcome. This newsletter is an ideal forum for updates, reports, announcements and editorials which don't fit well with traditional journals. We welcome your contributions, as well as calls for papers, job announcements, comments and suggestions. You can reach us at speechnewseds [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Finally, to subscribe the Newsletter, send an email with the command "subscribe speechnewsdist" in the message body to listserv [at] listserv (dot) ieee [dot] org.

Jason Williams, Editor-in-chief
Pino Di Fabbrizio, Editor
Chuck Wooters, Editor

Calls for papers, proposals, and participation

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Job advertisements

Edited by Chuck Wooters

Welcome from the New SLTC Chair

Steve Young

First of all, I would like to wish everyone in our speech and language community a happy and a prosperous New Year.

Farewell from the Outgoing SLTC Chair

Roberto Pieraccini

The beginning of 2009 marks the end of my two year term as the Chair of SLTC, the IEEE Speech and Language Technical Committee.

What is the SLTC? A brief history

Jason Williams

Readers new to the newsletter may not be familiar with the Speech and Language Processing Technical Committee. This article provides a quick introduction and a brief history.

Report from IEEE Workshop on Spoken Language Technology in Goa

Alex Rudnicky

The IEEE workshop on Spoken Language Technology (SLT) took place during December 2008 in Goa (the first IEEE speech meeting to take place in India). SLT focuses on topics that connect speech recognition and understanding to some of its applications, such as machine translation, dialog, search and summarization. A particular focus of this year’s meeting was Spoken Language Technology for Development, the application of SLT to social needs.

Language Death

Stephen Cox

Language, in either its written or spoken form, is the raw material for our research. So it is a shock to realise that a large proportion of the world¹s languages are under threat of extinction.

Keyword spotting in Czech: First evaluation complete, with funding from Ministries of Interior and Defense

Honza Cernocky

With funding from several Czech Government Ministries, three Czech university speech labs have tackled keyword spotting. In late 2008, an evaluation showed the strengths and weaknesses of their keyword spotting systems. The work received positive marks from its Interior and Defense sponsors, and the researchers look forward to further advances with additional funding.

Loebner Prize at InterSpeech 2009

Filip Jurcicek

The Loebner Prize contest, which follows the Turing test, has been organized every year since 1991. This year, the contest will be held in conjunction with InterSpeech, in Brighton, UK.

Speech Mashups – Speech Processing on Demand for the Masses

Pino Di Fabbrizio

AT&T is now granting free access to its speech processing technology for use in building speech recognition prototype applications that run on iPhones, BlackBerrys, and other networked devices.

Introducing Toastmasters, a club for improving public speaking skills

Svetlana Stoyanchev

Toastmasters is an international nonprofit organization that helps its members improve their presentation skills. It teaches specific techniques that help people communicate their ideas effectively and master a valuable skill of a competent speaker. This organization is widely available all over the world and can be a useful resource for students and scientists.

Spoken Document Summarization - An Overview

Annie Louis

With the increasing amount of multimedia information generated today, the provision of suitable information access interfaces to the data forms an interesting research problem. Summarizing speech contained in multimedia documents promises efficient organization, retrieval and browsing of their contents. Techniques from text summarization can be adapted for speech. But there are also unique challenges associated with spoken documents.

2008 - A Busy Year for the ISCA Student Advisory Committee

Ebru Arisoy, Marco Piccolino-Boniforti, Tiago Falk, Antonio Roque, and Sylvie Saget

The Student Advisory Committee of the International Speech Communication Association has been active in a number of efforts recently. These include a Round Table Research Discussion and Lunch Event, development of an Online Grant Application System, transcriptions of interviews with speech and language technology researchers, and web resource development.