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Using Automatic Speech Recognizer as Phone Communication Aid for the Hearing Impaired

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000102404D
Original Publication Date: 1990-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-17
Document File: 3 page(s) / 146K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Bahl, LR: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

We describe a general scheme for adapting the current automatic Speech Recognizer to the enhancement of phone communication for the hearing impaired. Background

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Using Automatic Speech Recognizer as Phone Communication Aid for the Hearing Impaired

       We describe a general scheme for adapting the current
automatic Speech Recognizer to the enhancement of phone communication
for the hearing impaired.
Background

      An Automatic Speech Recognizer (ASR) can be used to decode the
sentences spoken by a first user (by phone) and print the decoded
sentences for viewing by a second user. The device that uses ASR to
enhance the phone communication for the hearing-impaired person must
be flexible enough to provide a user with complex information as to
who is answering the phone, the person whom the user is calling, or
some other person, or answering machine, or the phone is busy.  ASR
must be well suited in the restricted circumstances of decoding by
phone: the speech that is transmitted by phone has only a limited
range of frequencies compared with speech that occurs in a natural
situation (in direct conversation).  Imperfect decoding accuracy of
the current recognizers in the natural vocabulary also provides the
problem for phone conversations, especially in the noisy situations
that are typical for this type of application.

      This article describes the basic features of the device,
including the ASR and the method of its use that permit effective
phone communications for hearing-impaired persons.
General Description

      First, we describe some ways to provide the user with
information as to what situation occurred at the beginning of the
conversation (who answered the phone).
   l.   Users are equipped with additional hearing or tactile aids
either attached to the phone set or used separately.  Even the most
simple hearing or tactile aids are sufficient to provide the user
with the information as to how many rings have occurred, if the
ringing has stopped and someone is speaking into the phone.  It is
also enough to detect the frequency with which the rings are produced
that helps to understand whether the phone line is busy or not.
Using more sophisticated devices as multiple channel tactile devices
or digital hearing aid, users can distinguish a simple set of words
that helps them to understand who is speaking (answering machine or a
person) and call the needed person in order to speak with him further
using the Automatic Speech Recognizer.

      In an answering machine one can also record some special tones
or words that the ASR will recognize and display to the
hearing-impaired user to let him know that conversation is now
occurring with the answering machine.

      The machine also could be equipped with the help devices that
provide the hearing-impaired user with the information that somebody
calls (flash light, tactile vibrator) and the information about who
is calling (special phone number, for example).  This can cause the
loading of some information in the decoder corresponding to the given
speaker in order to make the speaker-dependent recognition....