Computer Learns Sign Language From TV

It's not bad enough that computers have learned to read lips; now computers are learning sign language, too.

So Patrick Buehler and Andrew Zisserman at the University of Oxford, along with Mark Everingham at the University of Leeds, started by designing an algorithm that could let an artificially intelligent computer system identify individual signs.

Then, they let the system watch TV shows with both text subtitles and British Sign Language. After about ten hours of watching TV - well, watch the video and see for yourself.


(A computer learns to understand sign language - by watching TV)

The software correctly learned about 65% of the signs that it was exposed to.

Would this have been enough to betray Bowman and Poole in the famous HAL 9000 lip-reading incident in 2001: A Space Odyssey? Hopefully, we'll never know.

From New Scientist; see also this article on Computer-based lip-reading technology.

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