Computers Now Lip Read Like Humans

An automated lip-reading system developed by researchers at the University of East Anglia can actually read lips better than most human beings. Findings are being presented at the International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP) 2009 this week at UEA.

Furthermore, they found that machines are able to exploit very simplistic features that represent only the shape of the face, whereas human lip-readers require full video of people speaking.

The study also showed that rather than the traditional approach to lip-reading training, in which viewers are taught to spot key lip-shapes from static (often drawn) images, the dynamics and the full appearance of speech gestures are very important...

“This pilot study is the first time an automated lip-reading system has been benchmarked against human lip-readers and the results are perhaps surprising,” said the study’s lead author Sarah Hilder.

Science fiction fans have been trying to talk without moo'ng their lih's in front of computers with cameras ever since that fateful scene in the film 2001:A Space Odyssey. As you recall, the HAL 9000 computer was able to read lips quite easily, maybe even better than most people.

(HAL 9000 [background] eavesdrops on astronauts Poole and Bowman)

Via Medgadget.

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