Launching the Open Speech Initiative

Over the course of the summer, I have been working on bringing dictation capabilities to Simon. Now, I’m trying to build up a network of developers and researchers that work together to build high accuracy, large vocabulary speech recognition systems for a variety of domains (desktop dictation being just one of them).

Building such systems using free software and free resources requires a lot of work in many different areas (software development, signal processing, linguistics, etc.). In order to facilitate collaboration and to establish a sustainable community between volunteers of such diverse backgrounds, I am convinced that the right organizational structure is crucial to ensuring continued long-term success.

With this in mind, I am pleased to introduce the new Open Speech Initiative under the KDE umbrella: A team of developers looking to bring first class speech processing to the world of free software.


The current team consists of Simon, a german programmer getting into speech technology, Adam Nash, a Simon GSoC graduate that I’m very happy to welcome again, Mario Fux, well known for – among other things – the legendary Randa meetings, Jon Lederman, Co-Founder of SonicCloud (a cloud telephony platform) and myself.

If you are interested in joining or actually already are working on a project that also deals with speech processing, please feel free to get in touch with us.


Website: (currently under construction)
IRC: #kde-speech on Freenode
Mailing list:


Right now, we’re mostly working on the lower levels, setting up infrastructure and automatic systems to help us build better speech models quicker in the future.

However, we also have some end-user applications planned that range from dictation software to automatic subtitling.

Watch the Open Speech Initiative’s website for updates!

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Peter Grasch