‘My Wee’ no more: From sing-along to speak-along | Inquirer Technology

‘My Wee’ no more: From sing-along to speak-along

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 05:58 AM July 06, 2011

If Filipinos are so good at singing along, perhaps they’ll do as well at speaking along.

The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has hit on the idea of using the Filipino’s skill in imitating western singers down to their twang to develop a speech-training software that would enhance the speaking skills of call center agents.

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Patterned after the karaoke, the sing-along system well-loved in the Philippines, the program would allow a Filipino with, say, a Visayan or Ilocano accent, to transition to an American or British accent.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the DoST initiated the program after learning that only seven of every 100 call center applicants made it through the selection process.

“There have been studies that show that only seven percent of applicants make it, so there’s a critical shortage. When they analyzed [why], they found out that it was their diction,” said Montejo at a luncheon briefing with reporters yesterday.

“The way you would usually solve the problem is to hire more speech trainers. But what we’re doing is developing a software karaoke-style with speech recognition technology,” he said.

The two-year research and design project will formally start on July 15, with the first field test expected in two years.

“It will cater to the accent that you need, for instance, American or British, and it’s localized, meaning it would depend on the diction that you have, whether Visayan or Ilocano, for example,” Montejo said.

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TOPICS: Department of Science and Technology (DoST), singing
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