By Neil Denslow
Etisalat is to team up with electronics giant Philips to develop Arabic language speech recognition solutions across the region in a project named ‘OrienTel’.
Etisalat is to team up with electronics giant Philips to develop Arabic language speech recognition solutions across the region in a project named ‘OrienTel’.The project will involve the Etisalat Contact Centre in the UAE working with Philips Speech Processing, the resulting product will be distributed in a large-scale database project funded by the European commission.Because the project aims to encompass the entire range of spoken Arabic accents, it will involve speakers from across the region contributing to a large database. The Etisalat Contact Centre will undertake the job of collecting these samples.“The Etisalat Contact Centre continues to lead the way in the Arab world in terms of technology. Our mission is to collect accurate voice samples from all types of Arabic accents such as those found in the different GCC countries, the Egyptian accent and even the Arabic accents of Indian and Pakistani origin,” says Mohamad Bamakhrama, general manager, Etisalat Contact Centre.Once complete, the project will enable people to use voice recognition systems, for instance, over the phone using Arabic instead of English. The product will support the full range of language used, such as standard Arabic, colloquial UAE Arabic and Egyptian Arabic. “Business solutions based on Philips’ technology help telecom operators, banks, call centres and other companies to improve customer service and to offer new services in a cost-efficient way,” comments Ruud van Vessem, chief operating officer, Philips Speech Processing.“Our project with Etisalat will ensure that speech-driven telephony solutions will soon become widely available for variants of Arabic as diverse as the ones spoken in the Gulf, Levant or Maghreb regions and in Egypt,” he adds.