Voice control in Multimodal dialouge (SMUDI-project)

Speech combined with keyboard and screen to simplify the use of IKT.

A digital class barrier exists between those who have access to information technology and others who are excluded. Information Technology and the use of a PC is a necessary skill in our society, just as important as other basic skills like reading, writing and mathematics. There are however groups in our society who are prevented from using Information technology.  Lack of education has often been cited as a contributing factor, but there are other aspects creating a barrier, aspects which derive from the design of the technology itself.

It is important to look for new solutions which will enable everyone to have the possibility to use IKT, and which will also reduce the physical strain of PC use. The most important IKT controls until now have been the mouse and keyboard, while the screen has been used to present information. The SMUDI-project focuses on speech as an alternative control. An investigation into which functions and tasks are to be controlled by voice input is of particular interest. Further research will concentrate on new ways of presenting information using synthetic speech, instead of or in combination with the screen.

Multimodal dialogue is a combination of different methods of communication and interaction between the user and the machine. The main aim of the SMUDI-project is to research into how speech can best be combined with other forms of interaction to make the use of IKT universal; such that IKT use should be as effective and comprehendible as possible for as many users as possible. The first part of the project will be the development a solution for command control of the computer. This solution will be further developed to allow the use of speech to fill out forms and use other services on the Internet.

The project is supported by the VERDIT program established by the Norwegian Research Council. The Project runs for four years from 1. September 2007 to 31. December 2011. MediaLT, a Research and Development company is leading the project and the project leader is Morten Tollefsen (Head of research in MediaLT). A PhD with the University of Science and Technology in Trondheim will be part of the project.