Semantic Information Processing of Spoken Language - How May I Help You? (sm)

Allen Gorin
AT&T Laboratories - Speech Research, Florham Park, NJ

The next generation of voice-based user interface technology will enable easy-to-use automation of new and existing communication services, achieving a more natural human-machine interaction. By natural, we mean that the machine understands what people actually say, in contrast to what a system designer expects them to say. This approach is in contrast with menu-driven or strongly-prompted systems, where many users are unable or unwilling to navigate such highly structured interactions.

AT&T's 'How May I Help You?' (HMIHY sm) technology shifts the burden from human to machine wherein the system adapts to peoples' language, as contrasted with forcing users to learn the machine's jargon. In this talk I will describe the speech, language and dialog technology underlying HMIHY, plus experimental evaluation on live customer traffic.

Allen Gorin was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 27, 1953. He received the B.S. and M.A. degrees in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1975 and 1976 respectively, then the Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1980. From 1980-83 he worked at Lockheed Electronics in New Jersey, investigating algorithms for target recognition from time-varying imagery. In 1983 he joined the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories Federal Systems Division in Whippany. While there, he was the Principle Investigator for AT&T's ASPEN project within the DARPA Strategic Computing Program, investigating parallel architectures and algorithms for pattern recognition. In 1987 he was appointed a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. In 1988 he joined the Speech Research Department at Bell Labs in Murray Hill and is now in the Speech Research department in AT&T Labs. His current research focuses on machine learning methods for spoken language understanding. He has served as a guest editor for the IEEE Transactions on Speech and Audio, and was a visiting researcher at the ATR Interpreting Telecommunications Research Laboratory in Japan during 1994. He is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

Date: Thursday, March 21, 2002, 8:00 PM
Location: Auditorium, Sarnoff Corporation, 201 Washington Road (Rt 571 1/4 mile south of US 1), Princeton, NJ

Additional Information: Dennis Mancl (908) 582-7086, or David Soll (215) 854-3461
A pre-meeting dinner with the speaker is held at 6 p.m. at the Rusty Scupper on Alexander Road in Princeton. If you would like to attend, please RSVP with an e-mail to

Princeton ACM / IEEE Computer Society meeting are open to the public. Students and their parents are welcome. There is no admission charge, and refreshments are served.