Machine translation systems that convert sign language into text and back again are helping people who are deaf or have difficulty hearing to communicate with those who cannot sign. A sign language user can approach a bank teller and sign to the KinTrans camera that they'd like assistance, for example. KinTrans's machine learning algorithm translates each sign as it is made and then a separate algorithm turns those signs into a sentence that makes grammatical sense. KinTrans founder Mohamed Elwazer says his system can already recognise thousands of signs in both American and Arabic sign language with 98 per cent accuracy.
To create the GIFs, Giphy cut videos from the popular educational series Sign With Robert, adding text descriptions to make the GIFs look like looping flash cards. "The looping format makes it a perfect tool for learning through repetition." The team at Giphy worked to cut down these existing videos into individual words and phrases to create the expansive collection of GIFs. Though Giphy plans to continue growing the library of GIFs, the team chose to include words and phrases by looking at Giphy users' top search terms.