SBIR Phase I: Spoken Dialog Question Answering

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0638180
Agency Tracking Number: 0638180
Amount: $99,690.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: IT
Solicitation Number: NSF 06-553
Small Business Information
DUNS: 127802234
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Mithun Balakrishna
 (972) 231-0052
Business Contact
 Mithun Balakrishna
Title: PhD
Phone: (972) 231-0052
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I research project focuses on building current and next generation dialog systems by integrating automatic speech recognition (ASR) and state-of-the-art question answering (QA) technologies. Because of the very high cost, time required, and the complex design requirements and attendant technical expertise required to develop these systems, spoken dialog systems have had limited deployment. The technical objectives of this project are: automatic generation of context free grammars (CFGs) or statistical language models (SLMs) with minimum manual intervention; automatic tuning of CFGs or SLMs for improved ASR transcription accuracy; higher levels of transcription accuracy due to QA system-based filtering and feedback, and higher level phonetic and linguistic information sources; high levels of query response speed; natural speech input; precise and focused responses to user inputs. This project anticipates a significant reduction in the cost of developing applications due to the reduction of manual labor requirements, and improved accuracy due to the presence of higher level knowledge sources in required for the recognition and understanding of utterances. The research project will result in a significant increase in deployment of spoken dialog applications due to reduced development costs and increased system accuracy. An increase in user satisfaction should follow from the reduction in user input constraints while maintaining high goal completion rates. Additionally, there should be an increased ease in modeling complicated tasks into spoken dialog systems.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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