“AT&T’s research arm has spent over two decades developing its Watson speech and language engine, which translates spoken words into text,” Nathan Ingraham reports for The Verge.

“Now, AT&T is planning to release a number of Watson APIs for developers in June, in an effort to accelerate development and innovation in the voice recognition space,” Ingraham reports. “Instead of having to develop their own speech recognition software, developers will now be able to plug AT&T’s Watson APIs into their apps to more easily include voice recognition features.”

Ingraham reports, “AT&T’s first APIs will be focused around seven different areas: web search, local business search, Q&A, voice mail to text, SMS, AT&T’s U-verse video programming guide, a general-purpose dictation API. AT&T has found that speech recognition works best when focused on specific categories, so these categories will help Watson know what types of words to expect. Unsurprisingly, AT&T’s informational video (included below) focused on the example of building a Watson-enabled U-verse programming guide, so you could tell it what channel, movie, or actor you were looking for. While these seven categories will be part of the initial release, it sounds like AT&T plans to add more and more categories over time.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]