Until now, voice-recognition systems haven't caught on widely among schools. Too many potential problems--background noise, variations in human speech, prohibitive cost--have kept them out of the education mainstream. But a program developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University aims to change that.

Carnegie Mellon's Project LISTEN, which stands for "Literacy Innovation that Speech Technology Enables," has developed an automated reading tutor that listens to children reading aloud, corrects their mistakes, and helps them develop literacy skills.

The project's director, Jack Mostow, sees an enormous potential for the system in schools.

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