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Intel, Lernout & Hauspie Announce Venture

Intel Corp. and Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products Thursday signed a joint venture deal to develop e-commerce and telephony solutions using the Belgian company's speech and language technologies.

The new venture will combine voice recognition tools and automated translation in computing platforms.

Intel also finalized its $30 million investment in Lernout & Hauspie, announced April 5.

"Combining Intel's leadership in the high performance, connected computing platforms together with L&H's leading technologies presents exciting possibilities for web-based products and services," said Ron Whittier, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Content Group.

"A voice interface presents a natural, intuitive method for people to get the information they need via PCs, connected smart devices and the telephone."

"The combined technologies of L&H and Intel can to make e-commerce and other applications more attractive by supporting natural speech commands, human-sounding synthesized speech, accurate machine translation and faster, simpler data query and retrieval," said Jo Lernout, co-founder of Lernout & Hauspie.

Intel Corp. will have the majority 51 percent stake in the venture, with 49 percent held by L&H. Each company will have representation on the board of directors. The new company will be based in Ieper, Belgium and in Santa Clara, Calif.