Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Joke-making software helps non-speaking children to beat language barriers "I want to tell you a joke. Are you ready?"

23.08.2006
Children who have to speak through computerised aids can construct and tell their own jokes, thanks to new software which provides them with a language playground. Researchers at the Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh have developed STANDUP, a software package for children who use speech technology like that used by the physicist Stephen Hawking.

Research shows that computerised speech aids, although very helpful, can restrict the development of a child's language skills, as his or her speech tends to stick to absolute essentials and lack spontaneity. Speaking children typically use humour to experiment with words and improve their social skills, but those who speak through voice output communication aids are often denied these forms of fun. Research suggests that limiting communication in this way means the child does not become as fluent, nor as adept at conversation, as children who have no language limitations.

The STANDUP project - "System To Augment Non-speakers’ Dialogue Using Puns" - has created software which allows children to generate novel puns. These puns are not prestored, but are created by the software, using dictionaries and information about words, plus simple rules about the structure of puns. The system was developed with the help of teachers, therapists and adults who use voice output communication aids.

STANDUP has been evaluated with eight young people at the Capability Scotland’s Corseford School near Glasgow. The young people, who used the system over a ten-week period, regaled their peers, staff, family and neighbours with jokes such as: “What do you call a spicy missile? A hot shot!” Their joy and enthusiasm at entertaining others was inspirational. The children’s use of STANDUP also had a beneficial impact on their use of their own communication systems as they were all more eager to communicate generally.

Dr Graeme Ritchie, at the Department of Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, said: "The STANDUP software makes simple puns by looking for suitable patterns in the words and phrases which are available to it. In this project, the computer acts as a helper to the child, by letting them browse through joke forms, and try out words and phrases. "

Dr Annalu Waller, at the School of Computing at the University of Dundee, added: "Many people who use communication aids tend to be passive communicators, responding to questions with one or two word answers. This research shows the importance of providing individuals with novel language. It has been wonderful to see young people with complex communication needs taking ownership of puns and using them to take control of communication."

The three-year project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is holding a two-day workshop in Dundee on Friday and Saturday (25/26 August) to showcase the STANDUP project. Teachers and therapists from all over Scotland and England will also learn about other research in which children use computers to play with language, from teams at Glasgow Caledonian University, Sussex University and the Danish University of Education.

Roddy Isles | alfa
Further information:
http://www.dundee.ac.uk

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones
28.03.2017 | Science China Press

nachricht Timing a space laser with a NASA-style stopwatch
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>