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
Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT
24.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
Paint job transforms walls into sensors, interactive surfaces
24.04.2018 | Carnegie Mellon University
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
25.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.04.2018 | Medical Engineering
25.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering