Enabling Assistive Devices with Speech Technologies

Speaker: Proadpran Punyabukkana , Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Date: Friday, March 14, 2014

Time: 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Note: all times are in the Eastern Time Zone

Refreshments: 2:45 PM

Public: Yes

Location: 32-G882 (Stata Center, Hewlett Room)

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Host: Jim Glass, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Marcia G. Davidson, 617-253-3049, marcia@csail.mit.edu

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Reminders to: seminars@csail.mit.edu, sls-seminars@csail.mit.edu

Reminder Subject: TALK: Enabling Assistive Devices with Speech Technologies

Since 2005, the Spoken Language System group at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, led by Atiwong Suchato and Proadpran Punyabukkana, has been working on speech recognition and speech synthesis in the Thai language. In 2008, the group saw the nation's shortcomings in technologies to assist people with disabilities and started a branch to apply speech technology to assistive devices. To date, they have produced a number of software applications and some hardware that addressed the need of the country. They include a Speaking keyboard, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Audio book generation platform, Humming cursor control, Brain-Computer-Interface for Thai keyboard, and more. Several devices were adopted by the government and have been distributed to more than 5,000 users around the country.

In this talk, Proadpran will speak on how speech technologies can help the community in Thailand, what are main considerations when developing software to market in the developing countries. She will focus on the issues surrounding the applications, particularly when foreign languages are involved.

Proadpran Punyabukkana is an Assistant Professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She joined the University in 1993 prior to being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her PhD at Claremont Graduate University in 2003. Her doctoral thesis was in the area of programming, specifically Object-Oriented language design and implementation. When she returned to Thailand, she shifted her interest to the field of Speech Technology, focusing on speech synthesis and speech recognition in Thai. She and a colleague formed the Spoken Language System Research Group in 2004. Their applications have been put to use for people with disabilities. While exploring the situation in Thailand, they started the Assistive Technology Research Group in 2006. To date, the two groups have graduated more than 70 undergraduate and graduate students.

Proadpran served as Assistant Dean of Engineering at Chulalongkorn University from 2004 to 2008 and Associate Dean from 2008 to 2013. She recently spent her sabbatical as a visiting professor at MIT and Stanford University.

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Created by Marcia G. Davidson Email at Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 3:49 PM.