Second European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology

Genova, Italy
September 24-26, 1991


On the Development of a Phone Communication Aid for the Hearing Impaired

D. Kanevsky, P. Gopalakrishan, C. Danis, G. Daggett, E. Epstein, David Nahamoo

IBM Research Division, TJ. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, N. Y. , USA

We describe the use of Tangora - a large vocabulary, isolated word, speaker dependent automatic speech recognizer (ASR) - as a communication device that would allow a hearing impaired person to communicate over the telephone with hearing individuals. The usability of this system could be limited by the degradation in the Tangora's recognition accuracy if it is used over public telephone lines or if it is used as a speaker independent system. In this paper we discuss some issues that could arise as a result of this. These include: How well can the hearing impaired cope with relatively low recognizer accuracy in phone conversation? How does the topic of conversation affect understanding of the meaning of spoken sentences? In particular, we have found that users can correctly understand the topic of ASR decoded phrases even when the recognizer accuracy is below 80%.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Kanevsky, D. / Gopalakrishan, P. / Danis, C. / Daggett, G. / Epstein, E. / Nahamoo, David (1991): "On the development of a phone communication aid for the hearing impaired", In EUROSPEECH-1991, 303-306.