Friday, September 24, 2010
Robots On TV: Rescue Bot Knows, Um, What You Mean
From New Scientist:
A robot that can understand plain English and manage a complicated to-do list could soon be the hero of search and rescue missions.
Most robots that can recognise speech only respond to pre-determined instructions. For example, some powered wheelchairs respond to spoken directions, but only when certain words are spoken clearly. In the real world, that's not how humans communicate. Our speech is peppered with "disfluencies" – the "umms", "ahs" and stutters of everyday language. If we want to successfully speak to robots in real-life situations – such as search and rescue missions, where noise and stress might get in the way of clarity – robots need to understand these complications.
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