Available Technology

Conversing with Computers

Conversational interface technology allows people to control computers and electronic devices by speaking everyday natural language. Unlike voice recognition systems that substitute sounds for isolated commands, the technology enables extended conversations with a shared, changing context. Johnson Space Center granted Neodesic Corporation a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to build a natural language system for robotic assistants in space. After Neodesic developed the Dynamic Predictive Memory Architecture (DPMA) system, it sold the language technology to I/NET, Inc. Johnson granted I/NET an SBIR contract to make the DPMA system easier to use and enable it to run on small systems. I/Net's resulting conversational technology can be incorporated into a wide variety of systems. The Phone Automation Manager (PAM) interacts with remote, automated systems over the telephone, giving it applications in factory and machine tool monitoring. When a factory system issues an alarm, PAM can call a maintenance technician on the phone and explain the problem. The technician can then work with PAM using plain English to ask for more details about the alarm, check on system status, and reset machinery if necessary without needing to come to the factory first. By working through PAM, a technician can be on call without leaving home.
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