FAQs

Q: What is VoiceXML?
Voice Extensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) is a markup language for creating voice user interfaces that use automatic speech recognition (ASR) and text-to-speech synthesis (TTS). VoiceXML is the only XML-based speech language specification to receive the W3C’s Final Recommendation. VoiceXML simplifies speech application development by permitting developers to use familiar Web infrastructure, tools and techniques. VoiceXML also enables distributed application design by separating each application’s user interaction layer from its service logic. Most developers find VoiceXML application development at least three times faster than development in traditional interactive voice response (IVR) environments. For these reasons, VoiceXML has been widely adopted within the speech industry. To learn more about VoiceXML, please visit the Resources section.

Q: What is the VoiceXML Forum?
The VoiceXML Forum is a global industry organization that works to accelerate the adoption of VoiceXML and adjacent technologies. As the world’s leading VoiceXML advocate, the VoiceXML Forum works to certify VoiceXML platforms, to certify VoiceXML developers, to collaborate with standards organizations, and to create publications, including requirements, best practices, and use cases.

Q: When was the VoiceXML Forum founded? What is its history?
AT&T, IBM, Lucent, and Motorola founded the VoiceXML Forum in March, 1999. In May, 2000, the VoiceXML Forum submitted VoiceXML 1.0 to the W3C’s Voice Browser Working Group, which agreed to adopt it as the basis for the development of a W3C dialog markup language. In October, 2001, the VoiceXML Forum and the W3C signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which paved the way for both organizations to focus on various aspects of VoiceXML.

Q: How does the work of the VoiceXML Forum differ from or complement the work of the W3C?
Since 1999, when the VoiceXML Forum was founded, it has maintained a strong, cooperative relationship with the W3C. The W3C has led the technical development and evolution of VoiceXML, while the VoiceXML Forum has served as an educational and technical resource, a certification authority, and a contributor and liaison to the W3C and other standards organizations. The success of the relationship between the VoiceXML Forum and the W3C is reflected in the widespread adoption of VoiceXML-based applications: hundreds of millions of calls each day are handled by more than 10,000 of these applications around the world.

Q: Does the VoiceXML Forum collaborate with other standards organizations?
Yes. The VoiceXML Forum has worked with the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to define and evolve specifications intrinsic to speech platforms, such as HTTP, SIP, and MRCP. In addition, the now-concluded Speaker Biometrics Committee has worked closely with the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) M1 biometrics committee to define a speaker biometrics data interchange file format.

Q: What are the principal activities of the VoiceXML Forum?
The VoiceXML Forum works to certify VoiceXML platforms, to certify VoiceXML developers, to collaborate with standards organizations, and to create publications, including requirements, best practices, and use cases. The majority of this work is conducted in the committees. To learn more about these activities, please visit the committees section of the website.

Q: What is the organizational structure of the VoiceXML Forum?
The VoiceXML Forum consists of the Board of Directors, the Technical Council, and several technical and operational committees. The Board of Directors set the strategy for the VoiceXML Forum and oversees the work of the operational committees, including the Finance and Marketing Committees. The Board of Directors consists of a representative from each of our Sponsor member companies. The Technical Council sets the strategy for the VoiceXML Forum’s technical initiatives and oversees all technical committees and working groups. Sponsor and Promoter members are encouraged to participate in the committees.

Q: What companies are members of the VoiceXML Forum?
The VoiceXML Forum’s membership includes leading organizations from the speech, telecommunications, mobile and wireless, and information technology industries. A list of our current members can be found here.

Q: How does a company join the VoiceXML Forum?
Membership in the VoiceXML Forum is open to any company interested in supporting the development and adoption of VoiceXML and adjacent technologies. Membership provides companies with a wide range of valuable leadership, participation, educational, and promotional benefits and opportunities. Companies interested in joining should review the Membership Benefits Matrix to determine which membership level is most appropriate. Please consider that that the success of the VoiceXML Forum depends on the active participation of its members. Instructions for joining are provided online here.

Q: What are the levels of membership in the VoiceXML Forum?
The VoiceXML Forum has three membership levels: Sponsors, Promoters, and Supporters. Sponsor members set the strategy for the VoiceXML Forum, vote on all committee deliverables, charter new committee activities, and provide overall leadership to the organization. Promoter members take an active role in the organization by participating in committees, sponsoring new initiatives, and reviewing committee deliverables. Supporter members are committed to VoiceXML and open standards and can promote their affiliation with the VoiceXML Forum.