The aim of this project was a fully automatic system that provides reverse telephone directory information, i.e., by entering a telephone number, the user can get the subscriber's name and address (cf. [LP97] and [Leh98]).
The user may supply the input information (telephone number and system control commands) in spoken form or with the telephone keypad. Since the input signal is always fed to the word recognizer and the DTMF detector, the user is allowed to change the type of input at almost any time (but not within a telephone number, of course).
The RDS system accesses the online interactive telephone directory service of the Swiss Telecom PTT (ETV) which is based on textual communication. Thus, the ETV output that is designed for visual presentation, has to be parsed to get the desired information. From this information, a syntactically correct sentence is formed which is transformed into the acoustic form by means of the SVOX text-to-speech system.
The current version of SVOX is, however, not well-suited for this kind of application for two reasons. First, there is the problem of the pronunciation of the numerous proper names of persons, companies, places, etc. A lexicon that covers all frequently used proper names is currently being collected. Second, these proper names belong to many different languages, mainly German, French, Italian, and English. Therefore, the SVOX has to be developed further in the direction to a mixed-lingual text-to-speech system.
Supported by: This project was sponsored by the Swiss Telecom PTT and has been completed in January 1997.