in the future, talk to anyone

Well, this sounds cool.

A “Tower of Babel” device that gives the illusion of being bilingual is being developed by US scientists.

Users simply have to silently mouth a word in their own language for it to be translated and read out in another.

The researchers said the effect was like watching a television programme that had been dubbed.

The system, detailed in New Scientist, is not yet fully accurate, but experts said it showed the technology was “within reach”.

What is noticably trippy is it isn’t reacting to sounds but brain and muscle impulses.

Early days yet, but if something like this were possible… woo. Everything human changes.

No Responses to “in the future, talk to anyone”

  1.   Andrew
    October 27th, 2006 | 7:12 pm

    Well… I read that as “gives the illusion of being developed by US scientists.” That’d be the coolest device.

  2.   scott k
    October 28th, 2006 | 2:10 am

    “Early days yet, but if something like this were possible… woo. Everything human changes.”

    Well, yeah, maybe (although how many “revolutionary” inventions have been assimilated by the awesome power of human banality?). I saw this thing on the NSA website a couple of years ago. Impressive, sure – but it’ll still be worse than fucking useless if the ‘speakers’ (as such) don’t have the wit to be well-mannered towards one another. Hmm – a machine that compels basic civility – now that would be giant leap forward…

  3.   Pearce
    October 29th, 2006 | 3:46 pm

    Scott: Yeah, behaviour-changing technology is just what we need to governments of the world to have access to.

  4.   scott k
    October 29th, 2006 | 11:22 pm

    Pearce: They already do. Why is all our dissidence so linguistic and artistic? Were we born a bunch of gutless wonders? Surely not. We’re from the same stock as our (pre-digital) grandparents and beyond – and they weren’t afraid to lay slightly more than their social status on the line for what they believed to be right.

  5.   Pearce
    October 30th, 2006 | 11:39 am

    Scott: I missed what you were saying because I was watching television.

  6.   Administrator
    October 30th, 2006 | 4:01 pm

    The modern west is unlikely to be a world leader in necessary world change as long as its population is this comfortable. Hence, the real innovation will come from the people in the developing world whose ass is in the fire, so to speak. (Not in any sense justifying our inaction here, just observing.)

    Wouldn’t it be neat if we could talk directly to them rather than all sides being spoken for by corrupt diplomats and corporations?

  7.   Administrator
    October 30th, 2006 | 4:04 pm

    Of course, the killer app for the technology will be intercultural phone sex, enabling a world fusion of perversion. 😉

  8.   Pearce
    October 30th, 2006 | 4:15 pm

    Admin: But phone sex is so unsatisfying! We’ll end up with a world of interculturally-perverted frustrated woodies – blue balls on a global scale.