Seb has started building the new bar with a Chrome extension that makes it possible to have persistence so you can view more than one page with the bar staying in place. It works with top pages but even with lower levels it is now easy to toggle the toolbar on and off from the menu bar of the browser. You can also see when it is being used with a small white area appearing around the button.
The download for the Chrome extension is at the moment available from the Google Chrome site, but will soon be available on our new ATbar website. Further extensions or add-ons are planned for the other browsers and once these are tested it will be onto offering more options for the user.
This afternoon we debated the issues arising with speech recognition research and text to speech (TTS). Mashael had two very interesting papers that were showing that Sphinx4 is still the place to be when it comes to looking at Arabic speech recognition but the debate about recognition rates with or without diacritics prevails. In one paper it appeared that rates were higher without diacritic marks.
We then moved over to listen to the impact of diacritic marks with TTS. Edrees had a web page that showed us how the recordings he had made with his mobile phone of two synthesised voices were clearer without diacritic marks.
Here are some papers which we think will be of interest
1) Arabic Phonetic Web Sites Platform Using VoiceXML : (Includes implementation of Arabic ASR (using Sphinx) and TTS (Using MBROLA project) http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/
2)Natural speaker-independent Arabic speech recognition system based on Hidden Markov Models using Sphinx tools (What draws attention of this paper is that the system gives higher accuracy when implemented without diacritics) http://ieeexplore.ieee.org
3) This a dictation ASR developed by CMU university called EvalDictator (It supports Arabic, but it suffers from some problems. we’ll check how much progress have been archived on the project) http://www.speech.cs.cmu.edu/sphinx/dictator/