LET'S GO!: A Spoken Dialog System For The General Public

The objective of the Let's Go! project is to create a basic dialog system that extreme populations such as the elderly and non-natives can access. Though the original Let's Go! project is now over, you can use the Let's Go! system for your own research with Let's Go Lab.

Project Slide

People | Publications | Databases | Media Coverage | Acknowledgments

Although many recent systems have achieved effective spoken interaction with a computer, they tend to target the "average" portions of the population, those whose speech and hearing fall within the norm. Systems capable of finding and presenting useful information for the average user have been developed, but these systems cannot be used by everyone. People who are, for some reason, considered to be outliers in the general population cannot yet access the information these systems provide. This project is working on providing a system that can be used by everyone, including the extremes found in the general public.

The Let's Go! project is working in the domain of bus information, providing information such as schedules and route information for the city of Pittsburgh's Port Authority Transit (PAT) buses. You can interact with a version of this system right now by calling 412-268-3526 (requires some knowledge of Pittsburgh's transit system).

This system is connected to the Port Authority's main phone line during non-business hours (M-F 7pm-7am, Weekends/Holidays 6pm-8am), providing schedule information over the phone to Allegheny County bus riders when they would otherwise be unable to get it.

An example interaction with this system is also available.



  • Raux, A., Langner, B., Black, A. and Eskenazi, M. (2003) LET'S GO: Improving Spoken Dialog Systems for the Elderly and Non-natives, Eurospeech 2003, Geneva, Switzerland. ( pdf, html )
  • Raux, A. and Black, A. (2003) A Unit Selection Approach to F0 Modeling and Its Application to Emphasis ASRU 2003, St Thomas, US Virgin Is. ( pdf )
  • Raux, A. and Eskenazi, M. (2004) Non-Native Users in the Let's Go! Spoken Dialog System: Dealing With Linguistic Mismatch HLT/NAACL 2004, Boston, MA ( pdf )
  • Langner, B., Black, A. (2004) Creating a Database of Speech In Noise For Unit Selection Synthesis, 5th ISCA Speech Synthesis Workshop, Pittsburgh, USA. ( pdf )
  • Raux, A. and Singh, R. (2004) Maximum Likelihood Adaptation of Semi-Continuous HMMs by Latent Variable Decomposition of State Distributions, INTERSPEECH (ICSLP) 2004, Jeju Island, Korea. ( pdf )
  • Raux, A., Automated Lexical Adaptation and Speaker Clustering based on Pronunciation Habits for Non-Native Speech Recognition, INTERSPEECH (ICSLP) 2004, Jeju Island, Korea. ( pdf )
  • Langner, B., Black, A. (2004) An Examination of Speech In Noise and its Effect on Understandability for Natural and Synthetic Speech, Carnegie Mellon University, Language Technologies Institute, Technical Report CMU-LTI-04-187. ( pdf )
  • Langner, B., Black, A. (2005) Improving the Understandability of Speech Synthesis by Modeling Speech In Noise, ICASSP 2005, Philadelphia, USA ( pdf )
  • Raux, A., Langner, B., Black, A., Eskenazi, M. (2005) Let's Go Public! Taking a Spoken Dialog System to the Real World, Interspeech 2005 (Eurospeech), Lisbon, Portugal. ( pdf )
  • Langner, B., Black, A. (2005) Using Speech in Noise to Improve Understandability for Elderly Listeners, ASRU 2005, San Juan, Puerto Rico. ( pdf )


Media Coverage


This work is supported by the US National Science Foundation under grant number 0208835, "LET'S GO: improved speech interfaces for the general public". Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

We would like to thank Maureen Bertocci and Megan Huff from Pittsburgh Port Authority Transport for their help in this work.

LTI LET'S GO! is a project within the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
This page was last updated 1/9/06