SAIL LABS, one of the world’s leading R&D companies in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Understanding (NLU), and a cutting-edge solutions provider in the field of Dialog Systems, has won Teleconnect magazine’s ‘Best of Show’ award for its Conversational System at the March 2001 CT Expo in Los Angeles. The Conversational System is an NLU-based dialog system that serves as a voice portal to computer databases, and can be used for applications ranging from voice-activated dialling and call centre services to voice-banking and sophisticated customer relations management.
“If you are a road warrior who doesn’t like to carry around appointment books, address books, Palm pilots, and the like,” wrote Teleconnect magazine in its award citation, “this product is like having [your own] personal assistant.” The big technology edge of the Conversational System is that it provides callers instant access to back end databases via voice. Callers can access information, make reservations, and execute a variety of actions without having to be anywhere near a computer. As one industry observer put it: “This system gives mobility a whole new dimension.”
At the CT Expo, SAIL LABS demonstrated the Conversational System’s ability to sustain a free flowing conversation with a caller. Much of the technological advance in this field is based on the company’s research and proven expertise in NLU, but is due also in large part to custom developed technology that relates live speech processing data to back-end databases.
The system is easily scalable across multiple machines and operating systems (Windows 2000 and Linux), and can be connected to multiple databases of various types. It can be configured to run a number of applications simultaneously on several parallel lines, in different languages (currently English and German, with more to come). This means that the Conversational System could run a simple voice-activated dialling application on a single-machine, Windows 2000 configuration, or be scaled up to a powerful 100-line call centre configuration capable of running a complex flight information and reservation application.
Furthermore, applications for the Conversational System can be built in less than a week — a considerably lesser amount of time than the months-long development period required with other dialog systems.
Brooktrout Technology’s RealComm 100 is being utilised by SAIL LABS for its Conversational System. “RealComm 100 provides client/server functionality enabling developers like SAIL LABS to build modular applications and flexible configurations, adding new applications such as speech enabled directories,” said Christopher Thompson, Vice President of Marketing at Brooktrout Technology. “We are excited that $sl;’ Conversational System has won this award, as it is an excellent example of the types of cutting edge applications that can be built under our ‘True Partner’.
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