Focus Group session on Spoken Web




Organizers/ Focal Point(s)

Pier Paolo Ficarelli (ILRI Asia KM - New Delhi)
p.ficarelli@cgiar.org

The Spoken Web is a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share information simply by talking over a telephone.


Some outputs



    Aim of the Session

    1. To share the Voice Web Concept and the results of the meeting held in New Delhi with IBM on 7th October
    2. To recieve feedback for participants on its applicability to Africa and seek assistance on how to take this process forward
    3. To identify partners in Africa potentially interested in testing the technology or ready to linking up with the Indian platform

    Outputs of the Session

    Blog post http://www.ilri.org/ilrinews/index.php/archives/3579
    The session was attended by about 20 people. A short video was used to illustrate the technology.
    Most of the participants were new to speech internet technologies (see http://www.internetspeech.com/aboutus.htm)
    Main comments on Spoken Web applicability to the development context, especially in Africa were:
    • Technical understanding (searching, surfing, text to voice, IVR)
    • Usability (trust, quality control,costs, complexity etc.)
    • Comparative advantages with already existing voice or SMS digital platforms (e.g. Lifeline in India http://www.lifelines-india.net/)
    • Use (projects,social media, business, services, info push/pull, Ag-value chains etc.)

    Participants were asked to show their interest in testing the technology based on graded scale from (+++) to (- - -).
    Most of participants were on the highly interested side (++), while an important minority of experts expressed their polarised view on the topic (+/-).
    A contact list of people interested in following the undergoing negotiations with IBM to start a number of coordinated pilots in India was drawn at the end of the session.