Image from Wikipedia.
We live in a world of sounds, full of beautiful music, birds chirping, and the voices of our friends. It's a rich cacophony, with blaring beeps, accented alarms, and knock-knock jokes.
HEARBO (HEAR-ing roBOt) is a robot developed at Honda Research Institute–Japan (HRI-JP), and its job is to understand this world of sound, in a field called Computational Auditory Scene Analysis.
n this video, three sound sources are positioned around HEARBO: to the robot's right is a beeping alarm clock; in front of it, a speaker plays music; to its left a person speaks. The first thing the robot does is to capture all the sounds, recognize them, and determine the location they're coming from. Then HEARBO focuses its attention on each source one by one.
The United States and 70 other nations are investing in voice recognition databases that will allow governments to identify criminals or suspects based on brief recordings. A leader in the development of "voice-prints" storage is Russia's Speech Technology Center, known as SpeechPro in the U.S.
New research shows that it's possible to detect Parkinson's symptoms simply by using algorithms to detect changes in voice recordings. He's been developing software that learns to detect differences in voice patterns, in order to spot distinctive clues associated with Parkinson's. Using data from 50 patients with Parkinson's, who had their voices recorded once a week for six months, Little was able to develop an algorithm to detect changes in voice purely associated with Parkinson's.
Software that can translate spoken English into spoken Chinese almost instantly has been demonstrated by Microsoft. The software preserves intonation and cadence so the translated speech still sounds like the original speaker.