Posted tagged ‘AI’

Silly and sleek technology on display in Germany’s CeBit convention.

March 4, 2010

That's what I call a fashion statement

At the CeBit technology convention, there was plenty of new tech on display to get any gear-head’s heart racing. There was an assortment of innovative new technology that will be hitting the market and will both be useful tools and useful for making some mischief. On the useful side of things is a robotic tutor who will teach you how to speak Chinese (it wasn’t specified whether it was Cantonese or Mandarin). Her/its name is Amy and she comes equipped with over 400,00 sentences and the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in her head. Using AI and voice recognition she can communicate with you in real-time. A screen serves as her face or it seems she can project her avatar on a wall as well. Another interesting gizmo is the eye tracking computer. One can control a computer just by the movement of his/her eyes. A proposed use given in the article is to allow business people to know what products a customer looks at first.  However, I think this could also be used with people suffering from neurological problems such as stroke and brain damage to train their brain to keep their eyes level or focused on a certain object, a problem people will sometimes suffer after these incidents.

Not all the devices on display were so serious. A little gadget called the Tunebug Vibe can turn any surface into a stereo by sending vibrations through it, making it create sound. Another fun thing was a team of four robots who could play football (i.e. soccer). Another neat thing to program a smile to your face was a remote control that can turn off any television in Europe. This was just a sample of the tech on display. Some extra bits of info and lots of pictures can be found through the link.

I honestly wish I could have been there. The great thing a show like this does is to demonstrate that technology can be as fun as it is useful. The AI in the Amy system is really exciting as it shows progress in the way we can interact with intelligent machines. Voice recognition is still a big problem since there are so many parts of language that need to be understood for the meaning of something to be ascertained. Syntax, semantics, the sound and rhythm of the voice are all things that must be picked up on. But this certainly shows we’re making strides in the right direction. Still, technology can just be fun and some of the devices on display have a wonderful, childlike sense of fun about them. A lot of technology can seem far removed from us, locked away in special labs, or threatening us with import impinging on our lives. This expo, and expos like it, give us a chance to see that technological progress can be a boon for us and can add some novel fun to our lives.