REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 28, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. and Cambridge University today announced the availability of the Hidden Markov Model Toolkit (HTK), software for building speech recognition systems. HTK, which was acquired by Microsoft in November 1999 as part of its acquisition of Entropic Inc., is now available free of charge to developers via the Web site of the university’s engineering department at http://htk.eng.cam.ac.uk/ (connect time charges may apply).
HTK was originally developed in the early 1990s by Steve Young and Phil Woodland at Cambridge University to provide a flexible software environment for research in speech processing, especially speech recognition. Entropic obtained the marketing rights to HTK in 1993 and full ownership in 1998. Following the acquisition of Entropic, Microsoft wanted to ensure that HTK was still accessible to the speech recognition research community.
HTK will be distributed free of charge by Cambridge University to any interested parties. This will enable the hundreds of sites worldwide that already use HTK to continue to build on its capabilities, and will increase access to HTK in schools, universities and research laboratories. Cambridge University will be responsible for maintaining and developing HTK.
“Our goal is for HTK to continue to evolve and become a fertile development platform for speech recognition research,”
said Xuedong (X.D.) Huang, general manager of Speech Technologies at Microsoft.
“HTK is widely used in speech processing research and education, and this is a wonderful way for students to get a firm understanding of speech recognition techniques.”
“Hidden Markov Model technology is at the heart of modern speech recognition systems,”
said Phil Woodland, Reader in Information Engineering at Cambridge University.
“I am excited by this opportunity to make HTK very widely available and to develop it further.”
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