Useful and Easy-to-Use Interactive Voice for Emergency Data Exchange
CPRafrica 2012/CPRsouth7 Conference, Port Louis, Mauritius
16 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 6, 2012
Telephone calls are the predominant telecommunication mode in Sri Lanka (Zainudeen and Ratnadiwakara, 2010). To that end, leveraging voice-based applications for disaster communication would be acceptable and sustainable. The findings in this paper are from an experiment concerning interactive voice for connecting community-based emergency field operatives with their central coordination hub. Challenge was in interchanging the Freedom Fone (FF) Interactive Voice Response (IVR) generated, Sinhala and Tamil language, speech data with the text-based 'Sahana' disaster management system for analysis and decision support. Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) interoperable content standard was adopted for mediation between the two disparate systems. Standard mobile phones were the interface interlinking the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. Low quality voice transmissions over the GSM cellular infrastructure resulting in distorted data was a barrier to automating transformations between text and speech. Replacing those processes with human procedure significantly degrades the reliability. Nevertheless, the CERT members find voice-enabled information exchange useful and easy-to-use because it diminishes the need for computer literacy and removes language barriers. The paper discusses the utility evaluation of the introduced system.
Keywords: Public goods, Civil society, Information, Applications, Performance
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