Sunday, October 23, 2005

new toys

Gee, the marvels of modern technology. What will they think of next. Have to say though, that it reminds me of an occasion some time ago when I was working in the Audio Visual section of a Queensland University back in 1993. One of my jobs was to videotape visiting lecturers. On this occasion a couple of characters had come over from America to give a seminar on "voice recognition" software for computers.

When we stopped for a cuppa tea, I had a conversation with one of them, and he told me that it had taken twelve months and about a million dollars to get the computer to recognise 14 spoken words. The difficulty, of course, is that there are many different pitches and intonations, not to mention accents. At that point the words .. had .. to .. be .. spo .. ken .. slow .. ly, clearly and with the same pitch. Very proud of their achievement, they were.

I sort of looked at him and said 'sheesh, mate, if you give me twelve months and a million dollars - I could teach about fifty kids to recognise a vocabulary of about three thousand words. Read, write and speak them.'

He gave me a sour look and went off to talk with his friends.

I still think that the most powerful computer sits about 12 inches above the collarbone. Cheap, portable, runs on a small amount of carbohydrates and stuff, works when wet - and only needs replacing about every 70-80 years.

PS. Tuesday 26. Needs constant 'up-dating' though. But that can be cheapish if there's a local library.


GreenSmile said...

And don't forget, unlike the sillycon computers, your wetware model has repairmen everywhere, volunteering constantly to fix your brains functioning.

Peter said...

Hi David (alias Wombat Wol) thanks for the visit and the sidebar spot, I'm overwhelmed.
Keep writin' and fightin', I sensed by the time I had backtracked a bit that you are having a battle at the moment, as I said keep fightin'

Davo said...

Thanks GS,
my personal PC works on 'fuzzy logic' apparently. Not sure whether that's a good thing or bad .. heh heh.
Thanks also Peter,
Can't get rid of me that easily.
Cheers, :-D