ISD Lecture

Designing Voice Interfaces for Self-Service Applications

Tuesday, April 24, 2007
5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Ann Thyme-Gobbel & Cathy Pearl, Nuance

"I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Please tell me your phone number one more time." If you've ever heard a message like that from an automated telephone system and wondered who the heck designs these things, come get a look behind the scenes from the people who do. We'll tell you what's difficult about designing speech recognition systems, why businesses don't always want you to talk to an agent, and how well speech recognition actually works these days. You'll get a first-hand look at the process of creating an automated speech recognition phone application, and the challenges we face.

Ann Thyme-Gobbel (Senior User Interface Designer) has worked in the speech and language field since 1986. Since joining Nuance in 1999, she has worked in dialog design, usability testing, and tuning of financial services, travel and telco applications. Clients include Schwab, Mellon, Dreyfus, AT&T, Alaska Airlines, Discover Card, Wells Fargo, and Lloyds TSB. In 2004, she received an award for Best Process Innovations for her effort to capture IP and facilitate improved customer satisfaction. Ann was a principal member of Nuance's Industry Solutions and Vertical Marketing team, responsible for marketing research and collateral development for the banking and credit industries. She also co-developed and co-taught the popular Managing Successful Speech Applications course. Prior to joining Nuance, Ann worked in speech R&D, being part of the development teams for speech recognition, and TTS, and doing research on detection of languages and emotions, discourse analysis, and error correction in natural speech. Ann holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Linguistics from the University of California at San Diego.

Cathy Pearl (Senior User Interface Developer) has been with Nuance since 1999. Cathy has worked in a wide variety of areas in the speech industry, including dialog design, usability testing, application development, and tuning. Cathy was lead dialog designer on the San Francisco Bay Area's 511 application, Alaska Airlines flight reconfirmation, Sun Trust Bank branch and ATM locator, and Beyond Guide's travel guide to Washington, D.C., amongst others. Prior to Nuance, Cathy worked at NASA Ames as a software designer for computer-human simulations. She has a B.S. in Cognitive Science from UCSD and a Master's in Computer Science from Indiana University.

Last updated:

March 26, 2015