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Apple Granted a Patent for a New Speech Recognition System


On October 24, the US Patent & Trademark Office published Apple's newly granted patent for 'Assigning meanings to utterances in a speech recognition system,' which was originally filed on February 18, 2004. Apple's granted patent relates to speech recognition systems. More specifically, the patent relates to the generation of language model(s) and the interpretation of speech based upon specified sets of these language model(s). Being that the granted patent discusses the use of this system in relation to a user calling up a document, licence, memo and/or a producer's agreement, it's apparent that this patent could easily apply to a future iPhone.


Apple's Abstract


Apple's patent states that "Assigning meanings to spoken utterances in a speech recognition system. A plurality of speech rules is generated, each of the of speech rules comprising a language model and an expression associated with the language model. At one interval (e.g. upon the detection of speech in the system), a current language model is generated from each language model in the speech rules for use by a recognizer. When a sequence of words is received from the recognizer, a set of speech rules which match the sequence of words received from the recognizer is determined. Each expression associated with the language model in each of the set of speech rules is evaluated, and actions are performed in the system according to the expressions associated with each language model in the set of speech rules."

small version graphic of speech recognition system fig 2

Patent FIG. 2 shows the organization of the preferred embodiment as a functional block diagram.


Apple's granted patent covers the following subject matter in greater detail: Functional Overview, Language Model Representation, Dynamic Categories, Partitioning Speech Rules and Assigning Meaning to Utterances. 


The sole inventor listed on patent application number 7,127,394 is Robert Don Strong.


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