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Belgium's most famous IT man speaks naturally

Gaston Bastiaens to sign major car deal

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Lernout & Hauspie has said that it will introduce natural language into its speech products starting from October 6. The most famous IT Belgian in the world?At the same time, Gaston Bastiaens CEO of the company, hinted strongly that he was on the verge of signing a major deal with a car manufacturer to use its speech products. Sources said Ford-Chrysler was a likely candidate. Ericsson will also licence the technology. Bastiaens said that the natural language component would deliver speech closely resembling the human voice, rather than the stilted robot-sounding language the technology currently delivers. He said the deal that L&H had signed with Microsoft at last year's Comdex/Fall had stood the company in good stead but refused to be drawn on how much his company was receiving in licence fees. L&H, however, is in discussions with a number of other firms to license its technology, he added. But Intel is not one of them. Two days ago, a demonstration Intel's CEO Craig Barrett conducted in London fell at the first speech recognition hurdle. ® Click for more stories

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