Avatars will help us navigate tomorrow's electronic maze

March 18 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: General   Rating: 19 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Say goodbye to TV remote controls and the computer mouse and keyboard. By as early as 2010 to 2015, a computerized image of your choice displayed on wall-size screens throughout the house will be available to hear your commands and speak to you in perfect human voice.

Selecting TV programs will be easy. Turn on any display screen in the house and your personal avatar appears. “Hi Dick, what can I do for you?” “I want to see Sunday’s ‘Desperate Housewives’.” “Here it is Dick, and I won’t reveal the ending, enjoy.”

Avatars will also interface with PCs, which will signal the end for most of our mouse-clicking and typing. Simply say, “Computer, display last night’s email; good, reply to my sister, tell her Friday’s OK; and invite the family to my house next Saturday for dinner; now ring David in Japan on Skype.”

Most people think that interactive systems like this are a long ways off, but two trends are quickening the pace. Improved speech-recognition and interactive voice-response systems now mimic normal-spoken language more accurately – and today’s computer graphics can create 3-D avatars with an uncanny “real” look.

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Talking machines promise to revolutionize our lives in the future

June 14 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Technology   Year: General   Rating: 13

By Futuretalk

Imagine a machine that can not only understand what you say, but can act on it; one that actually learns through experience, and knows you well enough to anticipate your needs.

Now further imagine that this voice-interactive machine will appear as an avatar – an on-screen image resembling your favorite movie character or loved one. On command, it will materialize on any TV screen and computer monitor in your home, or on display screens in your car radio and cell phone, addressing you by name and asking, “How can I help you.”

Poised at the cutting edge of this fast growing industry, Fair Isaac’s Robert Hecht-Nielsen believes his company will soon market a machine called Chancellor that could bring the vision of true conversational machines closer to reality.

“We see Chancellor as a small, cylindrical device, several of which can be placed around the home,” says Hecht-Nielsen. It is wireless and gets its power from the Internet. In addition to handling daily family tasks, such as answering phones, making appointments, and maintaining schedules, this futuristic device also becomes a portal to the world of automated commerce.”

Unlike most artificial intelligence systems, the Fair Isaac machine does not use algorithms or software, or adhere to standard grammar rules. Instead, it utilizes computer simulations of brain tissues which enable it to process information and acquire knowledge similar to the way that we do; and it communicates using perfect human speech. (cont.)

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Avatars will soon be everywhere

August 25 2008 / by futuretalk / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Communication   Year: General   Rating: 6 Hot

By Dick Pelletier

Throw away the mouse and keyboard. New technologies are about to provide us with personal avatars – computerized images of our choice – connected to the Internet, and displayed on wall-size screens. Avatars will understand us, listen to our demands, and anticipate our needs.

Most people think interactive systems like these are a long ways off, but two trends are quickening the pace. Improved speech-recognition systems will soon enable people to converse with computers in normal-spoken English, and entrepreneurs are flooding to the Internet creating new business applications that take advantage of speech recognition.

IBM and Microsoft expect to soon eliminate all of the errors in today’s speech recognition software, and create systems that will mimic human speech perfectly without flaws. The MIT Project Oxygen new voice-machine interface can look you in the eye, let you ask questions in casual English, and answer them. Close your eyes and you think you’re talking with a human.

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates claims that by 2012, voice-enabled “smart” systems will allow us to converse naturally and comfortably, directly to flat panel displays. On command, our personal avatar will appear on the display. She (or he) will help us shop, work, learn, and conduct business and social relationships on the Internet. Computers will disappear and become part of the display.

Amtrak, Wells Fargo, and Land’s End are taking advantage of these new systems. They plan to replace keypad-menu call centers with speech-recognition systems to save money and improve customer relations. General Motors OnStar and Lexus DVD Nav systems are adding more than 1 million new subscribers each year. Analysts believe most businesses will convert to automatic speech systems as the technology matures.

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