The pipeline for new technology starts with fundamental research into areas on which AT&T's business is built, from the physics of optical transmission to foundational topics in computing and communications. Research on machine learning has improved algorithms for speech recognition, leading to better automated voice services. Research on "Steiner Trees" led to improved network design algorithms, helping make our access network more cost effective, and advances in fundamental data structures made it possible to handle massive data sets in speech processing and Internet traffic analysis.
AT&T's products, services, and daily operations depend on robust, scalable, integrated, and secure network and software systems. Systems research is driven by these demands and entails problems of design, implementation, deploy- ment, and maintenance—from wireless, optical, and IP networking to distributed, pervasive, and mobile computing environments. Interdisciplinary research spanning network measurement, database and data stream systems, and traffic analysis has enabled processing of vast amounts of network data, and led to improved network design and management technologies.
The explosion in communication and entertainment services is changing how people interact with devices and one another. Our world-renowned research in speech recognition, search and mining, natural language understanding, human-computer interaction is relevant now more than ever since speech is the most natural and safest way for people to communicate with devices. Interfaces must also accommodate trends in social networking, as people share and comment on music, video, and other media. Collaborative TV and radio, and applications allowing people to organize business, personal, and social information, are part of how Research is working to help customers and consumers interact with data and media.
AT&T's mission is to connect people, and our research focuses on ensuring communication is safe, enriching, and sustainable. We are exploring use of virtual machines to permit sharing and protect the privacy of personal information in on-line social networks. We are studying how sensors and wireless networks can securely report information on a person's health status to caregivers. Sensors and wireless networks will help our services to be run using fewer resources. This and other research enhances our ability to connect people safely and in an environmentally responsible manner.
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