Speaking French? Your Computer Can Tell

By Rachel Cernansky | April 29, 2009 5:44 pm

lips.jpgNot only can a computer read lips, but it can tell what language you’re speaking. Researchers in the U.K. have developed lip-reading computers that were successfully able to identify the language spoken into a video camera by 21 volunteers, each of whom was fluent in two or three languages.

French speakers, it seems, tend toward rounder lip movements, while speaking Arabic requires more prominent tongue movements. The computer program uses facial recognition and statistical modeling of lip movements to detect the sequences indicating that a particular language is being spoken. Potentially, the technology could lead to automatic lip-reading systems for deaf people.

Sage advice in the face of technology: Be careful where you spill your secrets, no matter what language they’re in!

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Discoblog: Chatting With Aliens? Researcher Aims to Create Alien Translator
Discoblog: It’s Not What You Say, It’s the Order in Which You Say It

Image: Flickr / helgasm!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology Attacks!
MORE ABOUT: computers, language
  • charlie

    Why would deaf people need automated lip reading systems as opposed to voice recognition? Just because they are deaf doesn’t mean that computers they use have to be.

    Still I think this might be really useful because lipreading combined with audio speech recognition might be a lot more effective than with only the audio.

  • Pingback: Woman Receives First Ever PhD in Texting | Discoblog | Discover Magazine()

  • Keith

    What an interesting development. Perhaps, linked to good translation software (possible oxymoron there – sorry) and available on smartphone devices, it could develop to become the fabled universal translator.
    Having said that, why lip read when voice recognition is available?


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