Language Learning

Automatic sign language translators turn signing into text

New Scientist

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.