September 19th, 2007
IBM have combined their experience of speech recognition with signing avatars created by the University of East Anglia to create SiSi, an on-screen speech-to-signing translator. The available avatars can sign in BSL or Sign Supported English. Currently the system is a prototype but IBM are considering plans to make it commercially available.
An example of the technology can be seen below. While I obviously always welcome new advancements in assistive technologies it is clear from the video that the software is by no means ready to act as a replacement for a human signing interpreter. The avatar started lagging quite far behind the speaker and lacked the facial experiences required to express accurate meanings. On the other hand this technology could have some great applications for communicating relatively simple messages across the Internet or during PowerPoint presentations.
Entry Filed under: New Technologies