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Speech Accessibility Project

Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Coming together to expand voice recognition

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has announced the Speech Accessibility Project, a new research initiative to make voice recognition technology more useful for people with a range of diverse speech patterns and disabilities. 

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The project launches with unprecedented cross-industry support from Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, as well as nonprofit organizations whose communities will benefit from this accessibility initiative, to make speech recognition more inclusive of diverse speech patterns.

Today’s speech recognition systems, such as voice assistants and translation tools, don’t always recognize people with a diversity of speech patterns often associated with disabilities. This includes speech affected by Lou Gehrig’s disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. In effect, many individuals in these and other communities may be unable to benefit from the latest speech recognition tools.

Learn more about the project.

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