Hewlett Packard has offered £6.2 billion for Autonomy Corporation, a Cambridge, UK company with considerable expertise in the speech recognition area, where software works out what people are saying.
This is a list of American patent documents by Autonomy. They include for example Automatic spoken language identification based on phoneme sequence patterns .
Like other software-based patent specifications, the description does not consist of machine code but rather a detailed description of how it works, which must be fascinating for anyone interested in the problems of speech recognition.
The Autonomy board has unanimously recommended the offer to its shareholders. The company is widely considered to be one of the UK's software stars. The company website says that it helps "organizations to derive meaning and value from their information, as well as mitigate the risks associated with those same assets", and that it was founded in 1996 to radically change the way people and computers interact: "where computers adapt to our world rather than the other way around."
There is much patent activity in the field of speech recognition. Here is a list of just the World patent applications published in that topic so far in 2011.