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Giving Developers a Voice with the Watson Speech APIs


April 19, 2012

For many of us, the most natural way to communicate with other people is with our voice. And now AT&T is giving developers the tools to build apps and services that also let you use your voice to communicate with your smartphone, television and other digital devices.

The foundations for these tools are the state-of-the-art AT&T WatsonSM speech recognition technology services that researchers at AT&T Labs have been developing and refining for years.

We already use AT&T WatsonSM services in a variety of applications, such as mobile voice directory search with YPMobile®, voice mail to text and other uses, and we have more than 600 patents in this area. But a great platform is only half the innovation equation. We know the best way to accelerate innovation is by opening our platforms and network services to outside developers.

So in June, we plan to launch several AT&T WatsonSM Speech application programming interfaces (APIs) that developers can access to quickly create great new apps and services with voice recognition and transcription capabilities. The first AT&T WatsonSM Speech APIs will be focused on seven areas: web search, local business search, question and answer, voice mail to text, SMS, U-verse® electronic programming guide, and a dictation API for general use of speech recognition.

While outside developers will get their hands on these APIs in just a couple months, you can see right now what this technology allows in the new AT&T Translator app for Android and iOS. The app takes spoken or written language and translates it into another language you select. No more getting lost in a foreign country and being unable to ask for directions!

In addition to these APIs, we’re also giving developers a software development kit, or SDK, that we call the speech kit, which developers can use to create software to capture a user’s spoken words and send them into the network for transcription. This makes it easy for developers to integrate speech recognition into their apps. Again, the goal is to make using AT&T WatsonSM as simple as possible for developers.

And we’ve got lots more AT&T WatsonSM Speech APIs coming, including for areas such as gaming and social media.

Thanks to these APIs, developers will soon make communicating with your digital world as natural as chatting with your friends.


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