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Do We Need Voice Services on Skype

Aswath points out that speech rec isn’t required in systems that have keyboards, and questions the value of the recent announcement by Skype.

First, we should note that these technology platforms have two components: playout the content stored in a website and recognizing the user’s speech to decide what needs to be played next.

The latter requires an automatic speech recognition (ASR) utility. You need this to be of high quality. This where companies like Tellme excel. This is required if the medium of interaction is the standard telephone. But IM clients like Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger et al. do not require this utility. The customer can easily type in the preferences via the text window rather than speak it and then later interpreted by an ASR.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Aswath September 11, 2005, 2:51 pm

    Just want to make it explicit that this includes wi-fi phones and even data enabled cell phones as well. Anything to eliminate the interlopers. :-)

  • Jim Courtney September 11, 2005, 7:06 pm

    More to the point: are these voice services going to be something to "thrill audiences"? TellMe has been around for a few years, has had a few iterations and I have yet to see it go "viral".

    A big mistake in launching Voice Services at this time was Skype's failure to provide any operational examples of these services being provided by a third party using Skype. Made it easy for the whole debate to center around the revenue distribution as opposed to what the service provides and how users will accept them.

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