IBM Releases Speech Technology To Open Source

In addition, IBM handed over software tools for speech editing to the Eclipse Foundation.

Both donations are valued at about $10 million, said Brian Garr, program director for the call center and voice portal segment of IBM's pervasive systems unit. The process for standardizing the technology within the open-source groups is expected to take seven to eight months.

The motivation behind IBM's giveaways is to speed up the use of speech-recognition software, according to the company.

"People will be able to develop speech applications for less upfront cost and deploy the software faster," Garr said. "We hope to really elevate all speech applications, so there is more deployment in the middleware infrastructure of corporations."

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Garr declined comment on whether the move was to outmaneuver a key competitor, Microsoft. The giant software maker has built its own tools for making speech recognition software for the company's Windows and .Net platforms.

In March, Microsoft introduced Speech Server 2004 for running speech-enabled applications. More than 100,000 developers have downloaded the company's free software developer's kit for building speech applications for Microsoft's platforms.

IBM's tools and components are based on cross-platform Java technology, which means they can run on any underlying operating system, Garr said.

In other news announced at the SpeechTek Exposition and Conference in New York Monday, IBM and Avaya, based in Basking Ridge, N.J., announced a joint-development agreement to build speech-enabled, self-service applications for corporate customers. Avaya is a leading supplier of call-center technology.

As part of the deal, Avaya will offer its products on IBM's WebSphere application server.

This story courtesy of TechWeb.