In general, Battle Management command centres require rapid access to and control of large, rapidly changing information databases. Commanders and system operators need to query these databases as conveniently as possible, in an eyes-busy environment where much of the information is presented in a display format. Human-machine interaction by voice has the potential to be very useful in these environments. A number of efforts have been undertaken to interface commercially available isolated-word recognizers into battle management environments. In one feasibility study, speech recognition equipment was tested in conjunction with an integrated information display for naval battle management applications. Users were very optimistic about the potential of the system, although capabilities were limited.
Speech understanding programs sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S. has focused on this problem of natural speech interface. Speech recognition efforts have focused on a database of continuous speech recognition (CSR), large-vocabulary speech designed to be representative of the naval resource management task. Significant advances in the state-of-the-art in CSR have been achieved, and current efforts are focused on integrating speech recognition and natural language processing to allow spoken language interaction with a naval resource management system.
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