Television that can recognise its viewers

13 November 2001

Television that can recognise its viewers

THE days of talking to your television and computer are growing ever closer. A special BBC lecture to be held at Aston University in Birmingham will explain the advances that have been made so far in the exciting field of speech recognition technology, and also give an indication of what developments the future will bring. The technology is already beginning to offer new possibilities in the production, broadcasting and archiving of radio and television programmes.

The speaker, David Kirby, from the BBC's Research and Development Department, has worked on applications of speech recognition in broadcasting for the last four years and has led various projects to investigate how this technology can best be exploited. He won the Audio R&D Engineer of the year in 1998 and, last year, his work using speech recognition to help in subtitling won the Innovative Applications Award from the Royal Television Society.

The 'Putting Speech Recognition to work' lecture at Aston will describe and illustrate some of the capabilities of the technology, including its strengths and weaknesses. With a clear idea of what can be achieved, several application areas will be described. Although some will require improvements to the speech recognition before they can be widely used, others, as will be seen, can already deliver worthwhile benefits and are in daily use.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, 28th November in the Warwick Lecture theatre, Aston University, from 5.30pm and will be followed by a buffet and drinks.

It is presented in memory of Jonathan Dickson, a promising first year student at Aston University, who sadly died in December 1998. Jonathan was a gifted student, undertaking the BEng in Electronic Systems Engineering. Before joining Aston he spent a year at the BBC where he was highly regarded as an enthusiastic and talented employee.

Tickets for the lecture can be obtained from Jean Hasson in Marketing & Communications on 0121 204 3000.


Note to editors: David Kirby joined the BBC's Research Department after graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in Electrical Sciences. In recent years he has been involved with a variety of digital audio projects and particularly multi-channel sound for enhanced television.

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

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