[games_access] Technique links words to signing

David Colven colven at ace-centre.org.uk
Mon Sep 17 04:43:37 EDT 2007


Apologies if you already know this but there is a report of some new
software developed by IBM in the UK called SiSi which uses a signing avatar
to translate text into BSL and/or Signed English

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6993326.stm

All the best


David

At 09:14 17/09/07, you wrote:

>Eelke,

>

>there maybe many sign languages for each region or spoken language,

>for instance BSL and ASL and Makaton are just 3 "English" sign

>languages, also there are regional and even local or personal versions.

>Furthermore, literal translation is almost useless, as each grammar

>may be very different.

>

>Naturally not everyone can read, so text isn't necessarily helpful.

>

>fwiw this is not an area I have much expertise in, but this much I do

>know.

>

>regards

>

>Jonathan Chetwynd

>Accessibility Consultant on Media Literacy and the Internet

>

>

>

>On 17 Sep 2007, at 01:00, Eelke Folmer wrote:

>

>Hi Barrie,

>

>Very interesting but unless you use mechanical puppets to animate the

>sign language in a non digital environment, wouldn't it just be easier

>to just use text? e.g. render subtitles on a screen? Or am I missing

>something here? Is sign language the same for different languages or

>is it universal?

>

>Cheers Eelke

>

>

>

>

>On 9/15/07, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

>>

>>

>>

>>A group of students working for IBM develops technology that

>>automatically

>>converts the spoken word to British Sign Language.

>>

>>Technology that translates spoken or written words into British Sign

>>Language (BSL) has been developed by researchers at IBM.

>>

>>The system, called SiSi (Say It Sign It) was created by a group of

>>students

>>in the UK.

>>

>>SiSi will enable deaf people to have simultaneous sign language

>>interpretations of meetings and presentations.

>>

>>It uses speech recognition to animate a digital character or avatar.

>>

>>IBM says its technology will allow for interpretation in situations

>>where a

>>human interpreter is not available.

>>

>>It could also be used to provide automatic signing for television,

>>radio and

>>telephone calls.

>>

>>'Disenfranchised citizens'

>>

>>The concept has already gained the approval of the Royal National

>>Institute

>>for Deaf people (RNID).

>>

>>"RNID welcomes any development that would make the information

>>society a

>>more equal place for deaf and hard of hearing people," said the

>>charity's

>>director of new technologies, Guido Gybels.

>>

>>"Sign language users are among the most disenfranchised citizens as

>>a result

>>of services and products not being designed with their needs in mind."

>>

>>But Mr Gybels says there is still a long way to go before such

>>prototypes

>>are in everyday use.

>>

>>IBM runs a yearly initiative called Extreme Blue which invites

>>technically-minded and business students to collaborate for 12 weeks.

>>

>>"We had a profoundly deaf mentor, so he kept a close eye on what

>>was being

>>done and checking whether our translation corresponded to real

>>BSL," said

>>Maria Vihljajeva, the student who developed the business plan for

>>SiSi.

>>

>>The students used two signing avatars developed by the University

>>of East

>>Anglia.

>>

>>One of them signs in BSL and the other uses Sign Supported English

>>- a more

>>direct translation using conventional syntax and grammar.

>>

>>Converting SiSi to use other languages should also be straightforward,

>>according to Tom Klapiscak, another student who had technical input

>>into the

>>project.

>>

>>"We designed the SiSi architecture in such a way that new translation

>>modules can easily be plugged into the system," he said.

>>

>>"Obviously this would involve the work of creating the translation

>>module

>>itself - which is no small task."

>>

>>Mr Gybels of the RNID says he is "very impressed" with what the

>>students

>>were able to achieve in just twelve weeks.

>>

>>"Creating a system that can actually bridge the gap between hearing

>>people

>>who speak English and deaf people who use BSL is very important."

>>

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>>Via BBC:

>>http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6993326.stm

>>_______________________________________________

>>games_access mailing list

>>games_access at igda.org

>>http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>>

>

>

>--

>------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----

>Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>Department of CS&E/171

>University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com

>------------------------------------------------------------------------ ----

>_______________________________________________

>games_access mailing list

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>

>_______________________________________________

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David Colven, Technical Advisor

The ACE Centre Advisory Trust
92 Windmill Road
Headington
Oxford OX3 7DR

Web site at www.ace-centre.org.uk something new every week Tel +44 (0)1865
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