Tag: Speech Technology

Interesting thread on integrating Speech to Text with Asterisk and PBX in a Flash


This is an edited version of a post that originally appeared on a blog called The Michigan Telephone Blog, which was written by a friend before he decided to stop blogging. It is reposted with his permission. Comments dated before the year 2013 were originally posted to his blog.
An old microphone
Image via Wikipedia

I just wanted to call your attention to this thread on the PBX in a Flash forum:

Exploring Speech to Text

This thread explores the possibility of adding a simple speech to text demo, and also discusses the possibility of transcribing e-mails to text.  It uses Google’s speech recognition service, and it is free to use.  I doubt you would be free to use it in any commercial application, but for those that just like to tinker with new capabilities for your Asterisk server, you might find this interesting.

I haven’t personally tried it yet, but I will say that if you are using some FreePBX based distro other than PBX in a Flash, you may need to remove the calls to the Flite speech synthesizer (or install Flite support).  I hate Flite (I think the voice quality sucks harder than a black hole — okay, maybe I exaggerate a little, but Cepstral voice synthesis is much better than Flite — unfortunately Cepstral is not free) so I’m not going to tell you how to install it.  Flite’s only used in the demo in the first post so if you are trying to do something else (such as attempt voicemail transcription, as discussed in the thread) you probably don’t need it anyway.

What would be nice would be the ability to dial a code, record a short message, and then have a transcription e-mailed to the address you use for voicemail notifications.  THAT is something I’d actually use on occasion!

EDIT: After posting this, I tried a basic installation on a NON-PBX in a Flash system.  Besides removing the references to Flite, I found I had to do the following:

  1. Change ownership of /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin/speech-recog.agi to  asterisk:asterisk
  2. Install the perl modules mentioned in the “use” statements in /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin/speech-recog.agi
  3. Install flac (some users may also need to install sox, but I had installed that previously).

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