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Despite ever increasing computational power, recognition and classification problems remain challenging to solve. Recently advances have been made by the introduction of the new concept of reservoir computing. This is a methodology coming from the field of machine learning and neural networks and has been successfully used in several pattern classification problems, like speech and image recognition. The implementations have so far been in software, limiting their speed and power efficiency. Photonics could be an excellent platform for a hardware implementation of this concept because of its inherent parallelism and unique nonlinear behaviour. We propose using a network of coupled Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOA) and show in simulation that it could be used as a reservoir by comparing it on a benchmark speech recognition task to conventional software implementations. In spite of several differences, they perform as good as or better than conventional implementations. Moreover, a photonic implementation offers the promise of massively parallel information processing with low power and high speed. We will also address the role phase plays on the reservoir performance.