Researchers in the Speech Technology group at software giant Microsoft have developed a technology they have code-named Dr. Who, which "will allow the computer to travel through our living spaces as a handy electronic Hal pal that answers questions, arranges our calendars, and sends messages to our friends and family." Using speech recognition technology, the prototype uses a handheld device that doubles as a web browser, email device and cellphone. "Let's say we are talking on Instant Messenger, and we're talking about where I should take you for lunch. You realize there is a web service out there that is a restaurant guide, and we can probably ask it to join our conversation. Now this web service is not human, still, with Dr. Who we can type text or use speech to talk to this service. So we can ask it to find a restaurant that's a French restaurant, and not too far away from Microsoft. With a spoken or typed text dialog system we extend the horizon of the project." Read the full article by clicking here.