[nik's note: it would seem the perception formed by the research team in this article were based on a study from 2003! That's very out of date for the speech world, so make of this what you will!]
People with strong Birmingham accents are being asked to help teach speech recognition systems to understand regional dialects. Researchers at Birmingham University are now offering to pay Brummie volunteers to record their phone calls.
They hope the research will lead to more accurate systems being developed.
The researchers said that the voice recognition technology, which has been used since the 1980s, had initially been geared towards people speaking English with American accents.
Professor Martin Russell, who is heading the research, said the technology now generally worked best for people with "standard British southern accents". [click heading for more]