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'The doctor can understand you now'
Date:9/21/2009

mix include embedding these sets of analyzed cues into speech that is synthesized from inputs keyboarded into the interface as a response or a question.

The emphasis is not hardware, but rather creating a system that can use existing, low-cost computers and other electronic equipment effectively for the purpose.

The overall strategy involves building on existing translation techniques by expanding the reach of tools used earlier, with signal but limited success, to allow machine intelligences to perceive the prosodic and other rich contextual cues.

So, for example, notes McLaughlin, while machine translation of text relied on analysis of masses of parallel written texts in the two languages, the new effort will compare and analyze bodies of oral text.

A big advantage for this is the fact that unlike generalized conversation, doctor-patient interactions involve a limited, controlled context, making it easier to eliminate dead end translation possibilities and false clues..

McLaughlin also emphasizes that in addition to linguistic information, the effort will incorporate cultural cues and information: "Our system will not only be bilingual, but bicultural," she says,

The effort will also take advantage of lessons learned in an earlier attack by Narayanan on the S2S translation for doctors, the Transonics Spoken Dialog Translator, designed to allow English speaking doctors to communicate with Farsi-speaking patients.


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Contact: Eric Mankin
mankin@usc.edu
213-821-1887
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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