Monday, June 6, 2011

Automatic Text to Sign Language

                                             Automatic Text to Sign Language 

Automatic Text to Sign Language

Japanese researchers are working on an animated sign language translation system that will automatically convert Japanese words into gestures for deaf viewers, which could help improve the spread of information during disasters.

Subtitles are not always enough for people who use sign language as their main form of communication. The new system, from the NHK Science and Technology Research laboratories, is able to convert Japanese text into sign language delivered by a suit-wearing avatar in a virtual newsroom. The system is also able to use synonyms to replace words that don't translate directly.

Although comprehensible, the new program is lacking in fluency, and is still under development.

Japanese Broadcasting Company, NHK is developing an automatic sign language generation system that converts text into animated signs performed by an on screen avatar. Although closed captioning is sufficient for the hearing impair, because sign language is the first form of conversation those born with an impairment learn, it’s the way that’s much easier for them to understand and digest information quickly. NHK thinks this will be particularly useful when there is an emergency announcement to made. The company is working on improving the fluency of the avatar’s sign language skills.'

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