Innovation: Computer program to learn to understand baby talk? ~ Ask The Admin

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Innovation: Computer program to learn to understand baby talk?

We were blown away by this article from Reuters By Julie Steenhuysen. People have been under the impression that Children are born knowing all the sounds in the world. Scientists are debunking this as we speak. Check this out and let us know how long you think before they have a baby to parent translator? A Universal translator if you will and maybe a tri-corder... oh that's just a digital thermometer you say? We can still pretend can't we?? Captain... I'm giving er all I got!

CHICAGO (Reuters) - A computer program that learns to decode sounds from different languages in the same way that a baby does helps to shed new light on how people learn to talk, researchers said on Tuesday.

They said the finding casts doubt on theories that babies are born knowing all the possible sounds in all of the world's languages.

"The debate in language acquisition is around the question of how much specific information about language is hard-wired into the brain of the infant and how much of the knowledge that infants acquire about language is something that can be explained by relatively general purpose learning systems," said James McClelland, a psychology professor at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

McClelland says his computer program supports the theory that babies systematically sort through sounds until they understand the structure of a language.[Reuters]