Skip to main content
Consensus Study Report


Science fiction has long been populated with conversational computers and robots. Now, speech synthesis and recognition have matured to where a wide range of real-world applications—from serving people with disabilities to boosting the nation's competitiveness—are within our grasp.

Voice Communication Between Humans and Machines takes the first interdisciplinary look at what we know about voice processing, where our technologies stand, and what the future may hold for this fascinating field. The volume integrates theoretical, technical, and practical views from world-class experts at leading research centers around the world, reporting on the scientific bases behind human-machine voice communication, the state of the art in computerization, and progress in user friendliness. It offers an up-to-date treatment of technological progress in key areas: speech synthesis, speech recognition, and natural language understanding.

The book also explores the emergence of the voice processing industry and specific opportunities in telecommunications and other businesses, in military and government operations, and in assistance for the disabled. It outlines, as well, practical issues and research questions that must be resolved if machines are to become fellow problem-solvers along with humans.

Voice Communication Between Humans and Machines provides a comprehensive understanding of the field of voice processing for engineers, researchers, and business executives, as well as speech and hearing specialists, advocates for people with disabilities, faculty and students, and interested individuals.

Suggested Citation

National Academy of Sciences. 1994. Voice Communication Between Humans and Machines. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Import this citation to:

Publication Info

560 pages |  6 x 9 |  Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-309-04988-7
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-x
Dedication 1-4
Voice Communication Between Humans and Machines--An Introduction 5-12
Scientific Bases of Human-Machine Communication by Voice 13-14
Scientific Bases of Human-Machine Communication by Voice 15-33
The Role of Voice in Human-Machine Communication 34-75
Speech Communication -- An Overview 76-104
Speech Synthesis Technology 105-106
Computer Speech Synthesis: Its Status and Prospects 107-115
Models of Speech Synthesis 116-134
Linguistic Aspects of Speech Synthesis 135-156
Speech Recognition Technology 157-158
Speech Recognition Technology: A Critique 159-164
State of the Art in Continuous Speech Recognition 165-198
Training and Search Methods for Speech Recognition 199-214
Natural Language Understanding Technology 215-216
The Roles of Language Processing in a Spoken Language Interface 217-237
Models of Natural Language Understanding 238-253
Integration of Speech with Natural Language Understanding 254-272
Applications of Voice-Processing Technology I 273-274
A Perspective on Early Commercial Applications of Voice-Processing Technology for Telecommunications and Aids for the Handicapped 275-279
Applications of Voice-Processing Technology in Telecommunications 280-310
Speech Processing for Physical and Sensory Disabilities 311-344
Applications of Voice-Processing Technology II 345-346
Commercial Applications of Speech Interface Technology: An Industry at the Threshold 347-356
Military and Government Applications of Human-Machine Communication by Voice 357-370
Technology Deployment 371-372
Deployment of Human-Machine Dialogue Systems 373-389
What Does Voice-Processing Technology Support Today? 390-421
User Interfaces for Voice Applications 422-442
Technology in 2001 443-444
Speech Technology in the Year 2001 445-449
Toward the Ultimate Synthesis/Recognition System 450-466
Speech Technology in 2001: New Research Directions 467-481
New Trends in Natural Language Processing: Statistical Natural Language Processing 482-504
The Future of Voice-Processing Technology in the World of Computers and Communications 505-514
Author Biographies 515-524
Index 525-548

What is skim?

The Chapter Skim search tool presents what we've algorithmically identified as the most significant single chunk of text within every page in the chapter. You may select key terms to highlight them within pages of each chapter.

Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Marketplace service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Marketplace, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Marketplace allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Marketplace you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the NAP through Marketplace:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Marketplace service, please contact:

Marketplace Support
International +1.978.646.2600
US Toll Free +1.855.239.3415

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at

loading iconLoading stats for Voice Communication Between Humans and Machines...