Artificial intelligence that increases capabilities. To be able to converse in dozens of languages without speaking more than one! This has probably been the dream of many travelers for centuries, especially those with little facility for learning new languages. And now that skill is within everyone’s reach thanks to voice recognition and translation systems based on artificial intelligence.
For example, according to its developers, the M3 Basque Translator, a pocket-sized technological device, allows understanding in more than 70 different languages with an agile response time of half a second in translations.
Automatic translators are just one example of how artificial intelligence, which we have been hearing about for some time now, is beginning to take shape in utilities that increase human capabilities, in this case, speech.
There are many others. Like Oticon More, a hearing aid with a deep neural network that emulates the way the brain works when processing the sounds it receives and allows its user to hear all relevant sounds, improving their hearing and attentional capacity.
A few days ago, a new Facebook artificial intelligence was announced that, just by reading a word, learns what a typeface looks like and can imitate that person’s handwriting and write any text with it. Useful for extending anyone’s writing ability or, it could be, for impersonating identities, that technological developments enhance skills and potentialities for both good and bad, depending on how they are used.
Below are five other artificial intelligence tools whose suitability for amplifying human talents or skills has already been verified and which for the general public may represent an advance but which, for certain groups affected by some kind of disability or limitation, represent a real revolution and the overcoming of barriers that were unthinkable until recently.
Writing with the mind: Writing thoughts. To express what passes through the mind in meaningful sentences. It may be the fantasy of many people and, undoubtedly, a great solution to restore the ability to communicate in those with spinal cord injuries or neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). And a team of scientists at Standford University has made it real by means of a brain-computer interface that, just by thinking about handwriting a letter, reproduces it on the screen. Specifically, it is a system that works by implanting electrodes to monitor the electrical activity of approximately 200 neurons in the brain’s motor cortex, which controls the movement of the hand when writing.
Shoes that see: Tec-Innovation, an Austrian company, presented a few weeks ago an intelligent shoe, capable of seeing obstacles on the road up to four meters in advance and thus guiding the wearer to a more suitable route, something that could be especially useful for millions of visually impaired people.
Cloning the voice: Personalize sound products: audiobooks for children with the voice of grandparents; greetings or reminders of daily activities with our voice for an elderly relative, classes taught with the voice of celebrities… These and many other applications, personal or commercial, are what the voice cloning technology of the company Aflorithmic allows. They explain that 30 seconds of someone’s voice is enough to transform any text into a message “spoken” by that person. That makes it possible to record infinite personalized messages in the chosen voice without the person having to record them each time.
Smelling’ cancer: Artificial intelligence is also proving very useful in complementing human “smell”. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed an e-nose or electronic nose that can detect signs of cancer in blood plasma samples, with an accuracy of more than 90% in the tests performed. In the case of the “nose” created at Penn Med, it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to decipher the mixture of volatile organic compounds emitted by cells in the blood plasma, which are different, for example, in people with ovarian cancer than in those with benign tumors.
The ‘skin’ that reads data: A shirt, a sweater… or any other second “skin” capable of detecting, storing, and reading information from the environment or from our body on it, and interpreting it. That’s what the first digital textile fiber developed by MIT scientist Yoel Fink, who has been researching smart fabrics for more than a decade: from fabrics that detect sound to those that generate energy thanks to movement.
Its developers explain that these digital fabrics could be used in the future to monitor health by collecting data about the body and detecting early signs of disease, such as irregular heartbeat or respiratory impairment.
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