AT&T releasing Watson voice recognition APIs to developers in June (with video)

“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.]


  1. This is AT&T. Nothing is ever “free.”. To AT&T, customer support means that customers support the bottom line. Customer service means that customers are indentured servants. There is one whole department at AT&T that starts every morning around a $50,000 conference table, with exotic foreign coffee, asking themselves how can we screw our customers out of more cash today?

    Any application developloped to use those APIs will require their hardware on the backend and cost consumers at least as much as a 411 call per query. Cha Ching.

    1. Ah! Glad to see you in better form today Thelonious. I’m in total agreement. I wish AT&T were the only ‘Screw Thy Customer’ company in the USA. Sadly, this bad biznizz attitude has become the ‘norm’. Thus Apple succeeds specifically by not sucking on their customers like parasites. (Well, except when you buy RAM from the Apple Store!) 😉

  2. What is new here? Nuance, via Dragon technology, already provides APIs which I seriously doubt AT&T can do any better.

    This week I have been playing with Dolphin Sonar, available for the iOS Dolphin web browser (<3 <3). I am surprised at its rate of recognition of obscure words and names I throw at it. It's very nice for 99¢. The technology behind it is from Nuance.

    And of course we have Siri, which uses Nuance.

    IOW: It's nice to have competition, as ever. But I have to wonder how AT&T thinks it is going to improve on what already works.

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