PISCATAWAY, N.J., March 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today the VoiceXML Forum, a global industry trade organization chartered to promote and accelerate the adoption of VoiceXML-based applications, announces the selection of two grant awardees of the VoiceXML Grant Program.

The first award will go to Jina Huh-Yoo, Assistant Professor at Drexel University for her proposal “VoiceXML-based Conversational Agent for the Caregivers of Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Related Dementia Patients.” This grant will fund the ability to design and evaluate a phone-based conversational agent that will support caregivers to confidently seek tailored strategies on caregiving for people living with these types of disabilities through iterative conversations with the agent.

VoiceXML Board Member Paolo Baggia of Nuance Communications said, “After twenty years, VoiceXML standard infrastructures are still a pillar of Conversational Agent creation. The development of relevant and useful VoiceXML innovations, such as Professor Huh-Yoo’s caregiver assistance application, continue to make a difference in our world.”

The second award will go to Catherine Pelachaud, Director of Research from Sorbonne University & Nicholas Obin, Associate Professor, Ircam – Sorbonne University for their proposal “Virtual Expressive Agent.” This agent will attempt to enhance the quality of the interaction of the human experience between human and machine by synthesizing modalities of expression through gestures, as well as speech prosody.

Dr. Valentine Matula, Board Member with Avaya, noted that “The Virtual Expressive Agent project has a goal of capturing, specifying, and then recreating expressive aspects of human communication via extended markup languages. This clearly expands on the goals of the original VoiceXML effort–and thus was seen as deserving of the VoiceXML Forum’s support via this grant.”

In addition, Board Member Rob Marchand of Genesys, noted that “The VoiceXML Forum is pleased to contribute to continued exploration of innovative voice related technologies and applications through the award of these grants in support of the two selected proposals.”

The VoiceXML Forum congratulates all winners on this achievement.

About the VoiceXML Forum

Founded in 1999, the VoiceXML Forum is an industry organization whose mission is to promote and to accelerate the worldwide adoption of VoiceXML-based applications. The Forum serves as an educational and technical resource, a certification authority and a contributor and liaison to international standards bodies, such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) IETF, ANSI and ISO. The VoiceXML Forum is organized as a program of the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organization (IEEE-ISTO). Membership in the Forum is open to any interested company. For more information, please visit the Website at www.voicexml.org.

Please send all media inquiries to Katherine.valenti@ieee-isto.org