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
Controlling robots with brainwaves and hand gestures
20.06.2018 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
Innovative autonomous system for identifying schools of fish
20.06.2018 | IMDEA Networks Institute
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.06.2018 | Life Sciences