€7m is pumped into voice-activation project
A €7m project to help develop voice-activated devices that can interact with people in a natural and intelligent way has been launched by scientists.
Researchers will use sophisticated computing techniques to create a combined system that can not only understand the spoken word but also synthesise voices that sound natural.
The technology will be equipped with artificial intelligence to enable it to become familiar with the user's voice.
It may also help to develop web search engines for audio clips, as well as potentially creating voice-controlled devices for the home, which could help older people stay more independent.
Researchers from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Sheffield aim to develop the systems over the next five years.
Professor Steve Renals, said: "This could open the door to computer speech technology."