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Lucent, Unisys to unify voice recognition systems

Pact to cover future development, marketing and resale efforts

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Lucent and Unisys have formed an alliance to develop, promote and sell natural language speech recognition technologies. The pact will involve the integration of both companies' speech products -- Lucent's text-to-speech and automated voice recognition systems, and Unisys' Natural Language Speech Assistant Toolkit -- into a single system aimed at developers of telephony and interactive voice response applications. The companies claim the new product will "dramatically reduce development time and will enable faster deployment of speech-based applications". Both companies will grant licensing and distribution rights to participating developers. Typical applications of the technology inlcude voice mail systems and phone banking services. It allows users to say 'I would like to move money' instead of having to hit a specific key on their phone's handset pad. "There is a growing market demand for natural speech applications," said Joe Yaworski, VP and general manager of Unisys Natural Language Understanding initiative. ® See also Vocalis launches talking Web sites

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