Computers Are Getting a Lot Better at Lip-Reading

By Lily Hay Newman Lip-reading aids the hearing and speech impaired, but it’s a specialized skill and has limits. For example, it only works if you can see a speaker’s mouth. And it’s not a prevalent skill in the general population, so someone with a speech impediment may have trouble being understood. If computers could do it accurately, more services could incorporate lip-reading functions like real-time speech-to-text translation into their accessibility features. Now researchers at the University of East Anglia are using machine learning to develop a lip-reading process with better accuracy than past attempts. And the ultimate goal is “a fool-proof recognition model for lip-reading.” Beyond accessibility, the technology has other potential applications as well. One is making it easier for law enforcement to work with videos that have poor…

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