No assignee for this patent application, patent application serial number 858905, has been made.
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The embodiments disclosed in this application generally relate to an interactive voice response system, and more particularly, systems and methods that enable voice communication access to hosted services, e.g., shops, car rentals, motels etc., via telephony,
"Corporations today routinely provide customer service via the Internet and the telephone for reasons of cost or expediency. Currently, users may obtain such Internet services from an access device that offers visual presentation capabilities-for example, a. personal computer (PC) with an Internet web browser that requests and receives HyperText Markup Language (HTML) documents produced by a Web server, Fore- commerce applications, the Web server has or provides access to service logic and transaction server interfaces that process the user's input. The service logic is programmed using any number of popular Web programming tools,
"Users obtain telephone services with an access device that has audio interaction capabilities-for example, a telephone or a voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) device calling an interactive voice response (IVR) platform that has audio input, output, and telephony functions and its own service logic and transaction server interface. IVR systems are automated to allow a telephone user to access linked services on the system through verbal commands. The service logic is typically programmed in a general-purpose software language using the platform's application-programming interface (API), or a platform-specific scripting language.
"Traditional interaction styles of IVR systems include menus, directed dialogs, and mixed-initiative dialogs made possible by improvements in utterance recognition technology. Menu style interactions typically use pre-recorded voice prompts asking the user to press a number on a telephone keypad or speak simple answers, e.g., 'yes,' 'no,' or simple numbers, to select an item from a set of choices. In directed dialogs, the system leads the user through a collection of data by asking discrete questions that require discrete answers. For example, to find out where a person resides, a discrete dialog system would first ask for the person to name the state he lives in followed by asking for the city. Mixed-initiative dialog systems let the user enter multiple pieces of data in a single utterance and provide partial information.
"Despite these advances, conventional IVRs still tend to be slow, impersonal, and offer a cumbersome platform for assisting interactions between the system and the user. Maneuvering through a maze of menu options and choices on the phone tends to be very time consuming and the voice command recognition/understanding features of directed and mixed-initiative dialog systems are not designed to effectively handle voice commands that are not responsive to scripted questions. In short, none of the existing IVRs allow for true interactive handling of services by users."
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