Christian Benoit Association was founded on 26 April 1999, in memory of
Christian Benoît, a researcher in the field of speech
communication. Before his death in April 1998, Christian Benoît
had carried out most of his research on speech synthesis and
audiovisual speech processing at the ICP in Grenoble. The purpose of
the Association is to support projects that help to promote and develop
research in the field of speech communication, essentially through the
Christian Benoît Prize.
This prize, valued at 7622 Euros, is periodically awarded to young researchers in the field of spoken communication. Its purpose is to provide financial support for the development of multimedia projects, such as web sites or CD-ROMs, that are designed to promote the work of these young researchers.
The 7th Christian Benoît Award has been attributed to Samer Al Moubayed from the Center for Speech Technology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm. His project aims at developing a system architecture and a demonstrator using the novel, recently developed Furhat robot head. The Furhat robot head integrates facial animation and visual speech synthesis. The goal is to provide a platform for research on situated and multiparty audio-visual interaction. Samer Al Moubayed officially received his Award during the closing ceremony of Interspeech 2013 in Lyon in August 2013.