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Cotton Talk: A Speech Interface for Cotton Plant Mapping

C. Liang, J.L. Willers, S. Bridges, J.M. McKinion


A speech interface for one portion of a crop management system was built in this project using the IBM™ Continuous Speech Series (ICSS) speech recognition toolkit. The purpose of the project is to explore the utility of speech input for a time-consuming data entry task, such as cotton plant mapping. Many issues related to usability were considered in the design and implementation of this speech interface, including learnability, efficiency, error prevention and detection, and the user's subjective sense of comfort. The software development procedure used was the ‘prototype methodology' process. Many design issues were determined from results using several intermediate prototypes. The long-term goal of this project is to build an interface that allows the user to enter plant mapping data both correctly and conveniently. The most challenging task has been to prevent, detect, and process the occurrence of errors. These errors may come from extraneous noise (i.e., the shutting of a door), the system's erroneous recognition of the user's input, and the user's erroneous input. Many strategies have been employed to cope with these errors without interfering with user convenience. Despite, these shortcomings, the system has been tested on both correctness and usability issues and the results have shown that the efficiency of this system will lead to improvements over manual ‘window-based' input methods that utilize a keyboard or mouse. Most users who participated in the test were pleased and satisfied the performance of the system despite a few current limitations.

Reprinted from Proceedings of the 1996 Beltwide Cotton Conferences pp. 522 - 528
©National Cotton Council, Memphis TN

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Document last modified Sunday, Dec 6 1998