W3C to Expand Internationalization in Speech Synthesis Markup Language; Goal is to Increase Support of World's Languages in Voice Applications.http://www.w3.org/ -- Today, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium, www.w3.org) An international industry consortium founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee to develop standards for the Web. It is hosted in the U.S. by the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT (www.csail.mit.edu/index.php). announced the results of the second Workshop on Speech Synthesis Markup Language Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) is an XML-based markup language for speech synthesis applications. It is a recommendation of the W3C's voice browser working group. SSML is often embedded in VoiceXML scripts to drive interactive telephony systems. , where speech experts from around the world presented ideas for expanding the range of languages supported by SSML SSML Speech Synthesis Markup Language 1.0.
The results include a new initiative to revise SSML 1.0 in ways that support a wider range of the world's languages, including the widely spoken languages of Mandarin, Hindi, Arabic, Russian, Hebrew, and other languages spoken in India and Asia.
These results reinforce important discoveries reached at the first SSML Workshop in Beijing late last year, which provided critical information on many Asian languages.
The announcement of the second workshop results serves as a call for participation to researchers around the world to join the effort to improve the specification.
Voice Applications and Under-represented Languages Are Growing on the Web
It is estimated that within three years, the Years, The
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See : Time World Wide Web will contain significantly more content from currently under-represented languages, such as Chinese and Indian language families.
In many of the regions where these languages are spoken, people can access the Web more easily through a mobile handset than through a desktop computer. There are more than 10 times as many cellphones in the world today as there are Internet-connected PCs.
An improved SSML will increase the ability of people world-wide to listen to synthesized speech through mobile phones, desktop computers, or other devices, greatly extending the reach of computation and information delivery into nearly every corner of the globe.
Expanding the Range of Languages Supported in Standards is Critical
The participants in the W3C Workshop reached conclusions that support the expansion of the SSML standard.
For example, the Workshop participants expressed the need to add to the standard the ability to represent features of spoken language, including tone, syllabic syl·lab·ic
a. Of, relating to, or consisting of a syllable or syllables.
b. Pronounced with every syllable distinct.
2. stress or accent, and duration in a machine-readable fashion. In some languages, these attributes are an important factor in determining meaning.
The goal of the next phase is to identify a few basic mechanisms that can greatly extend the power of SSML to better cover more of the world's languages.
W3C Invites Current and New Members to Join Efforts
W3C is moving forward on enhancing and expanding the capabilities of SSML, based on the results of the Workshop. Organizations, particularly those with native understanding of the languages of Japan, China, Korea, Russia and India are encouraged to join W3C and participate in the W3C Voice Browser Activity.
About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory It has been suggested that and be merged into this article or section. (MIT MIT - Massachusetts Institute of Technology CSAIL CSAIL Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT)
CSAIL Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab ) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM ERCIM - European Research Consortium on Informatics and Mathematics. An association of European research organisations promoting cooperative research on key issues in Information Technology. ) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/.