No New Chronicles 8/25



  • This should come as little surprise, but we have no chronicles this week. Maybe we'll have better luck next week.

    In other news, I took my first class towards my Ph.D. yesterday. Another four years and you'll have to call me Dr. Slayer, joining such greats as Dr. Pepper, Dr. Wily, and Dr. Doom. ;)

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    Slayer's guide to Cythera:
    (url="http://"http://www.macclassics.com/cythera/cythera.htm")http://www.macclassi...era/cythera.htm(/url)



  • Any ideas for your thesis yet?
    Oh, and don't forget Doctor Who :)

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    "Programming is an art form that fights back."
    - Unknown

    "I do not fear your Powerful Racoon, for I have a Short Poker of Shooting!" - Random Story Creator IV

    (This message has been edited by Bryce (edited 08-26-2003).)



  • Oh dear,
    Even the webforum is shrinking!

    (Calls Slayer to make Blackmail EV fans to start posting here)



  • Quote

    Originally posted by Bryce:
    **Any ideas for your thesis yet?
    **

    I'm probably going to end up doing something about discrete mathematics or machine learning, but it's a little early to tell at this point. My advisor wants me to interpret sign language through computer vision, but that doesn't really sound very interesting to me (As a Ph.D. student, you absolutely positively HAVE to do something you find interesting).

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    Slayer's guide to Cythera:
    (url="http://"http://www.macclassics.com/cythera/cythera.htm")http://www.macclassi...era/cythera.htm(/url)



  • Quote

    Originally posted by Slayer:
    **(As a Ph.D. student, you absolutely positively HAVE to do something you find interesting).
    **

    I would think so, since you'll be working on it for a long time...
    Actually, your instructor's idea sounds neat to me, but then, the deaf people can already type just fine, so it's not like the technology would allow them to really do something they couldn't do before. (Albeit possibly slower if they aren't touch typists.)

    Can computers already simulate signing on their own? Such a text-to-sign technology would be interesting too, but i don't know that it would be considered challenging enough for a Ph.D. (Film a few people signing with a digital camera, make a dictionary, tah-ta-dah problem solved...)

    'Course, sign language is pretty complex, at least ASL, from what I've heard. That might actually be pretty hard...

    Ah well. I hope you find something of great interest to you. It can certainly be hard to find something that stays interesting.

    I say, go with machine learning. When I read it someday, I want to be able to have a chance of understanding it, and I'm not much of a mathematician :)

    Maybe make a program that crawls the web like goggle, but makes up a database of knowledge rather than web sites. You might ask it:
    Can penguins fly?

    And it would match that with occurrences of 'penguin' and 'fly' in it's database (as well as variants on fly such as flightless) and then return:
    The penguin is a flightless bird

    Or something like that.

    Ah well, i'm sure you could think of a better idea anyway... besides, the computer couldn't tell between frequently-posted fiction and factual information... or could it?
    Anyway, Good fortune to you in this project.

    ------------------
    "Programming is an art form that fights back."
    - Unknown

    "I do not fear your Powerful Racoon, for I have a Short Poker of Shooting!" - Random Story Creator IV



  • Making a computer do sign language would be pretty easy, acutally. The obvious way is simply to have a huge collection of pictures of all the different signs, then display the appropriate picture for a set length of time. Another way would be to have a 3D person with articulated digits on each hand perform the signing. Such a computerized person could easily be programmed to transition smoothly to each sign. While either of these would no doubt require significant software engineering effort, it wouldn't be terribly difficult.

    The inverse problem(having a computer read sign language) is much more challenging as it would require significant work with computer vision, as well as advanced heuristic techniques for interpreting poorly formed hand signs. A similar difficulty exists in interpreting speech. Most people are pretty loose in their pronunciation of some words, frequently slurring them together and such("I am going to go to the store," for example, is routinely spoken as "I'mGonnaGoTaTheStore"). It's not an insurmountable problem, but it is certainly not easy.

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    Slayer's guide to Cythera:
    (url="http://"http://www.macclassics.com/cythera/cythera.htm")http://www.macclassi...era/cythera.htm(/url)



  • Might be helpful if the signer had each of his/her fingers painted a diffrent color - or wore a colored glove...
    Hmm... guess that might be cheating.

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    "Programming is an art form that fights back."
    - Unknown

    "I do not fear your Powerful Racoon, for I have a Short Poker of Shooting!" - Random Story Creator IV



  • So, instead of microphones, you buy colored gloves to talk to your computer. That actually might not be a bad idea, and would be a bit easier to recognize - but still, a sloppy sign could easily be taken for something else. If that's the case, they'll just have to try that phrase again, like when the computer interprets speech incorrectly.

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    "What we do not know, we cannot begin to understand."


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