Professor Steve Young

Cambridge academic's pioneering speech technology work recognised.

Professor Steve Young will be the 2015 recipient of the IEEE James L. Flanagan Speech and Audio Processing Award.

The annual prize is given to an individual or teams of up to three for “an outstanding contribution to the advancement of speech and/or audio signal processing”

Professor Young is the Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor, responsible for Planning and Resources, and Professor of Information Engineering in the Information Engineering Division.

The award citation reads:  “For pioneering contributions to the theory and practice of automatic speech recognition and statistical spoken dialogue systems.”

Professor Young works in speech technology, focussing in particular on developing systems which allow a human to interact with a machine using voice.

This involves machines like mobile phones recognising the user’s words, understanding what the words mean, deciding what to do and how to respond and then converting the response in textual form back into speech.

One speech recognition “toolkit” developed by Professor Young almost 20 years ago became a global standard for benchmarking systems, and the basis of many commercial systems and is still widely used.

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