NAVY WIRE SERVICE (NWS) - November 1, 1999 NWS01nov-7. New Navy-supported machine recognizes spoken words better than humans by Loretta DeSio, Office of Naval Research Public Affairs WASHINGTON (NWS) -- The U.S. Navy is supporting new speech recognition research for its potential benefits to Navy sonar. Biomedical engineers at the University of Southern California have created the world's first machine system that can recognize spoken words better than humanscan. In benchmark testing, USC's speech recognition system bested all existing computer systems and outperformed the keenest human ears. The system may eventually advance voice control of computers and other machines, help the deaf, aid air traffic controllers and others who must understand speech in noisy environments, and instantly produce clean transcripts of conversations, with each speaker correctly identified. "We'll definitely see an improvement in the interaction between man and computer," said ONR Program Officer Joel Davis, who helps fund the research. "With speech recognition capability, computer keyboards could become obsolete." A demonstration of the Berger-Liaw Neural Network Speaker- Independent Speech Recognition System can be found on line at: