GTE Internetworking Speech Recognition Technology Enables Computers to Listen and Respond

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Department of Defense Awards GTE Internetworking Key Contract to Develop Reading Aide in Collaboration with The Waterford Institute

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- GTE Internetworkings BBN Technologies division today announced that it has received funding from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to develop an advanced technology reading program for children and adults. This new program, developed in collaboration with the Waterford Institute, will provide students with technology- based individual instruction.

Stories and graphics will be displayed to students on a desktop computer screen and, as students read aloud from the screen, the ReadingAide will assess, guide, and provide real-time instruction. The Department of Defense selected BBN Technologies because of the organization's 30 years of proven expertise in the development and implementation of advanced speech recognition technologies and extensive experience in the design of curricula for early readers.

The BBN HARK Recognizer TM, the most advanced, flexible and accurate speech recognition product available, will be embedded into computer-aided reading software developed by the Waterford Institute. The advanced algorithms in the BBN HARK Recognizer will allow the ReadingAide to detect and diagnose reading dysfluencies. The system will then respond with help instructions as needed.

The software may ultimately be used to teach older children and adults with existing literacy problems, and may be extended to foreign-language instruction.

"Were delighted that BBN Technologies has received funding to develop this independent reading tool," stated Erich Bender, Vice President of Speech and Language Processing at BBN Technologies. "Working with the Waterford Institute on this project will enable us to create an electronic early literacy environment that offers unprecedented support to young readers and their teachers. This type of individual instruction supported by technology will significantly accelerate young students reading growth."

When fully developed, the ReadingAide will be tested with children in grades K-2 at three Department of Defense trial-school locations: one in the United States, one in Europe and one in Asia.

About GTE Internetworking

GTE Internetworking's Speech and Language Processing group has been a leader in performing advanced research and development of speech recognition and associated technologies for nearly three decades. Prime focus areas have been in speech recognition, natural language understanding, text processing and optical character recognition. These advanced technologies are often transferred to products in the Speech Solutions group which develops custom speech-based solutions to the commercial marketplace, including call center, central office telephony and automotive environments. To support these products GTE Internetworking also offers a full range of professional services.

GTE Internetworking is a division of GTE Corp. (NYSE: GTE). This division offers customers a full spectrum of integrated Internet services using IP networking technologies, including dial-up and dedicated Internet access, Web hosting, managed Internet access, systems integration, and Web-based applications development for integrating the Internet into business operations. Essential to GTE Internetworking are its research and development capabilities, which provide effective solutions for implementing faster, more effective and more cost-efficient ways to use the Internet. For more information visit

About Waterford Institute

The Waterford Institute was founded in 1976 in New York City. Its mission is to develop state of the art interactive individualized software to help inner city and rural poor at-risk populations get the finest possible education through the use of educational software on new multi-media machines. Electronic Education, a division of Scott-Foresman-Addison Wesley, specializing in the distribution and development of innovative computer-based curricula for elementary-aged children, is the exclusive distributor of the Waterford Early Reading Program.

BBN HARK Recognizer is a trademark of GTE Internetworking.

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