.. ee, allowing the user to use a computer without a keyboard. Perhaps, there will be a time when a keyboard and a mouse become obsolete. The major technical challenge in speech recognition is to provide a high degree of accuracy while supporting use of continuous speech. Improving speaker independence and vocabulary size is of equal importance.
According to Esther Schindler, “Speech will become more and more a part of computing and as it does so, the lines between “getting work done” and conscious computing will blur. The speed at which this change will occur will be based on the rate at which the technology becomes cheaper, faster, smaller, more efficient, and solves peoples problems. As the various schools of computer speech technology improve in what they can do within their own field, (faster and more accurate speech recognition, or more understandable speech synthesis, for example), they will have to, and will, converge their technologies into more products and ever more useful ones.” (Schindler 1996) Tracey Mayor believes there is a strong future for voice technology in areas that require a hands-free operation. Material handlers in factories will be able to voice commands to provide mobility; the unskilled computer operator will be able to operate a voice enabled stand-alone workstation. Industrial inspectors will be able to use the technology as well, using voice instead of pen and keyboard. Speech recognition will be valuable in the airline industry, both in operations and in flying and may also have applications on the trading floors of the stock exchange.
There are some long-term outlooks for voice recognition technology. It is anticipated that speech recognition will merge with natural language processing to use both statistical models and natural language grammar structures to produce high quality recognition and synthesis. Speech recognition technology may become incorporated with virtual reality. There will be a gradual evolution from text-to-speech to concept-to-speech. At some point, speech recognition systems may have artificial intelligence that can determine a question from a statement, or request more information if the user does not state something clearly.
One area of voice recognition technology that has experienced tremendous growth is telephony technology. This technology lets a person speak to a computer by phone. Charles Schwab & Co. was a pioneer in this area. The company has a program that allows clients to phone in and check stock prices or buy and sell mutual funds.
Instead of punching in numbers, the client says the name or trading symbol of a company or mutual fund. The “Voice Broker” system gets over 50,000 calls every day. The cost to the company per phone call is about one tenth of that it would be if one of their operators or agents had to handle the call. THE PRESENT Cost in technology is becoming less of an issue. Prices have come down significantly in the last few years. Demands on space and technology in a PC have been lowered, and concurrently, computer technology has experienced huge growth, resulting in advanced technology installed on computers at the sale point.
Our friends in America spent $200 million on voice recognition software in 1997, and by the year 2001, that amount is expected to jump to $3 billion, according to the consulting firm Voice Information Associates The systems development that is taking place at the end of the 20th century is vastly different than what took place in the early days of computers. Technology today requires communication between the designers of systems and their clients. Businesses want individualized systems, but these systems need to be able to cross international lines, requiring uniform standards across the board. Customer information systems are being used in industries today. These systems allow companies to understand individual consumers as well as identify new markets and develop new and innovative technology products.
Companies are able to take advantage of the following factors: 1. Databases are far larger today than they were even in the fairly recent past. These databases may include information on tens of millions of households. 2. The depth of information generated from databases on individuals and households can be much greater.
3. This information can be used as part of a highly automated business function. The development of information systems needs to keep pace with these changing demands from industry. In the past, programs were designed as large, umbrella programs, meant to serve the same clientele. Today, however, there is more individualization required for information systems. This also results in the need for flexibly trained programmers and designers; they must be able to custom design systems where necessary. Even small businesses like RWH Enterprises LTD (a small import/export company in Cambridgeshire) are not content with settling for systems designed to cope with their broad sector.
They require a system that will cater for all their business needs and are now employing programmers, who together with management look for any ways the business process can be simplified and made more efficient with the use of individualized systems. CONCLUSION There has been an ongoing evolution in the information systems area. Initially there were electronic processing systems; these were replaced by management information systems. In the 1980s, decision support systems emerged to facilitate the decision making process. These programs provide flexibility and insight into changing managerial needs.
In the last decade, emphasis was placed on strategic needs, and strategic information systems emerged. One common thread throughout the evolution of these systems is the increasing need for programs that can think. That provides a challenge to systems programmers and changes the way systems are developed. Another factor affecting the development of information systems is the growing need for systems in the international market. Systems that are developed need to be standardized and a set of protocols need to be in place to ensure equal development across the board.
Information systems are an area that would benefit from ISO 9000 standards; these standards provide uniform code worldwide. As the twenty-first century approaches, the development of information systems is going to continue to change. It has evolved from a strict database to multi-function abilities in just twenty years. In the last decade virtual reality, three dimensional imaging, artificial intelligence and reliance on the Internet have emerged. Developments will have to occur quickly, no longer having the luxury of being able to take years to develop.
Systems will need to emerge that help and assist the systems development process. After all the world is now affectivity smaller; it now takes only minutes for something to electronically travel to the other side of the globe and this means Information Systems development will have to keep pace, staying slightly ahead of the rapid changes continuously taking place. We are now in the “Information Revolution” and have become fairly reliant on technology. It is a fact that 90% of the scientists that our planet has ever seen are alive today and therefore we are going to see rapid development in this area, not only in technology but also in functionality. Information Systems will rapidly emerge into a wealth of applications until it eventually becomes an extension of the person (maybe in a literal sense some day).
That, I believe, is the future. BIBLIOGRAPHY Cattell, R.G.G., “Object Data Management: Object-oriented and Extended Relational Database Systems” Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1991. Gagnon, Gabrielle, “Data Warehousing: An Overview” PC Magazine, March 9, 1999. Hammond, Mark, “DRDA Standard Could Finally Get Rival Databases Talking”, PC Week, December 7, 1998. Mayor, Tracy, “Look Ma, No Hands” PC Week, July 1, 1996. Coskun, Samli A., “Information-Driven Marketing Decisions: Development of Strategic Information Systems” Quorum Books, 1996.
Schindler, Esther, “The Computer Speech Book” Academic Press, Inc., 1996. Sichel, Daniel E., “The Computer Revolution – An Economic Perspective” The Brookings Institution, 1997. Vossen, Gottfried, “Data Models, Database languages and Database Management Systems” Wokingham, 1991. Watterson, Karen, “Blueprint For A Database” Data Based Advisor, June, 1990.