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Sphinx-4 1.0 beta available: Speak freely and be understood by Linux! Linux lacks working voice recognition software, something that could help disabled people work with computers and also potentially allow you to interact more effectively with your computer.

Sphinx is here to fill the gap. Sphinx is a speed recognition system written purely in Java, created by a joint collaboration between Sphinx group at Carnegie Mellon University, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs (MERL), and Hewlett Packard (HP) with the aid of the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Sphinx-4 has grown into a excellent platform for speech research and voice recognition software. It is made entirely in Java, and the code is very close to being freely available: It is distributed under a non-standard lisence that grants you the right to Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification as long as four acceptable terms are met.

The first beta is now available for downoad at sourceforge.

Performance tests show that Sphinx-4 does very well for a Java program. Java programs are known to be horribly slow. It even works well on the average normal desktop system configuration with a large vocabulary of 64,000 words

Tests done today show that Sphinx-4 running on a single CPU pentium-4 2200MHz has a word error rate failure of 14%.

A demo application called ZipCity is available. ZipCity shows a map of the US and waits for the user to say a zipcode. The program then highlights the location on the map.

Sphinx-4 is likely to be integrated into Linux desktop environments like KDE and Gnome. It is already mature enough to be integrated to the interface of movie players and image viewers, making the user able to control simple tasks like stop and play by speaking to the computer.

Check out the small demo-program helloworld to find out how easy it is to make a Java program that recognizes simple sentences!

Check the FAQ. It holds the answers to common questoins and has more information about Sphinx-4.


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