ITGS Syllabus

Friday, February 02, 2007

Topic 195

Modification of hardware and software for special needs: voice recognition software, text-to-speech, special input and output devices, Internet resources by Chirag

Intelligence is the systems level of performance in reaching its objectives. Artificial Intelligence according to John McCarthy means the science and engineering of making intelligent machines and is man-made.

The research concerning Artificial Intelligence is with producing machines to automate tasks requiring intelligent behavior. Examples include control, planning and scheduling, the ability to answer diagnostic and consumer questions, handwriting, natural language, speech and facial recognition. As such, the study of AI has also become an engineering discipline, focused on providing solutions to real life problems, knowledge mining, software applications, strategy games like computer and video games.

Generally speaking AI systems are built around automated inference engines, based on certain conditions ("if") the system infers certain consequences ("then"). Systems dependent on artificial intelligence would normally require more processing capabilities than normal systems. Talking about hardware, speed and memory of an AI system is where important intelligent systems quite often require a range of sensors to receive input data from the environment. Output devices will include the normal peripheral devices such as printers and monitors but may also include a range of activators or speech synthesis devices. Robotics is one application of intelligent systems. Robotics is used in CAM systems.


AI is dependent not only on sufficient hardware but also on the software to run the hardware and to synthesize the data received. Once the data has been received and processed the AI system needs to make an intelligent response. To create this software non-procedural languages are often used. These include languages such as LISP and PROLOG. Both of these languages will actually allow the system to learn and modify its responses to its environment.

Specific Requirements

Models and Simulations: Models and simulations may require high graphics capabilities and be capable of processing high end mathematical models which can be very CPU intensive.

Machines like this will require:

- A fast CPU
- Large amounts of RAM
- A good graphics card
- Large storage capacity (i.e. large hard drive)
- May require specialized input output devices
- Will require specialized software
- May require an AI language such as PROLOG or LISP

Neural Networks

A wide range of software is available for developing neural networks; some can even be used as plugins for spreadsheets. The requirements will vary according to the use but a neural network would normally store large amounts of data and have the data linked in a configuration which would require a large storage capacity hard drive, fast access to the data would also be an advantage. If the network uses graphics then a fast graphics adapter would also be required.
Expert Systems: Expert systems are specialized information systems which would normally require a large storage capacity and fast processing capability. Many of these will be used via the internet so a fast connection would also be necessary.

Artificial Intelligence is not only used in computer science, engineering and making intelligent machines but also studied and applied in many other sectors such as Philosophy, Psychology, Business, and Fiction etc.


Modification of hardware and software for special needs: voice recognition software, text-to-speech, special input and output devices, Internet resources by Marek

It has always been a challenge for people to change certain objects so that those of less physical capacity and mobility can use them as well. However, one again human nature proves its ingenuity again as it continues to overcome these obstacles, with exceptional objects for the situation.

One particular object which was specifically designed to aid physically challenged people was the Camera-mouse. This was tailored made for handicapped people’s needs and assisted them by moving the mouse for them simply by using their head. There was no headgear, or complex equipment involved, merely a CD for installing the software and a Web-cam like devised with transmits the messages from the person’s body to the computer. This “Hands Free” approach to the product promotes an image of simplicity as well as elegance. Even people who had near complete paralysis were able to efficiently control a computer in this manner.

Another specially designed item was the Infogrip keyboard. This was made for people who had mobility to some extent, but would still find it difficult to use a normal keyboard. The keyboard was modified in the way that the keys were bigger and easier to see, sot that the person would not a make a mistake simply by hitting two keys at once. Said to a be a complete success, this product has sold millions over the world, aiding those recovering from accidents, such as people in physical therapy, and people with neurological disabilities. All in all, it was rated as one of the most popular products on the website, seeing as it helped influence so many recovering patients’ lives.

Online communicating sites would also benefit from providing extended services to the disabled as well because it would increase the popularity of the site as well as help appeal to a wider audience. Being able to advertise to a larger number of people will increase the awareness of the general public to the particular product, and will give a better impression of the company to the people as well. Seeing as the majority of companies are only interested in making money, it is their own human nature, their own greed that enables them to contribute to the rest of society.

In this way humanity can be seen as fighting toward a brighter future, where every one of us has an equal chance and equal potential to rise in the world. By doing this, people with special needs are no longer segregated and can fully integrate themselves into human society once more.


Modification of hardware and software for special needs: voice recognition software, text-to-speech, special input and output devices, Internet resources by Kent

Through the development in our technology, there are inevitably certain cases where modification of hardware and software are suitable or required for some special needs.

Voice recognition software is one example. In many cases for a lot of software, it is useful to modify it so that it can be controlled through voice recognition for certain special needs. Obviously, the special needs include voice chats. People were not satisfied by mere chat through typing, but the people had needs (the word needs in the economic sense) to have a communication that feels much more real. This modification required a special input device namely microphone. Recently, by the popularization of software such as Skype or Ventrilo, almost every household that uses computers now have a microphone or two. This is now moving towards modification to install tv camera so that the people chatting can now look at each other and talk through computers. Special input device such as webcom is now starting to spread through every computer at people’s homes.

Another example of modification would be installation of text-to-speech software. There are several software that can be downloaded or purchased on the internet that makes a sound file from texts. The formerly introduced Ventrilo also includes such feature. This modification does not require any special out put devices since it only uses speaker that are now common.

One rather peculiar modification of hardware and software for special needs was brain computer interface, also known as BCI. BCI itself is a special input and output device which is inputted or outputs brain pulses. It is now possible to move the mouse and use the computer through mere thoughts, by simply thinking of doing it. The BCI is connected to the brain through electrodes that are pieced into the brain and catches certain chooses brain pulses and then the computer reacts with the certain movement that corresponds to the chosen brain pulse. This allows people who are paralyzed to use the computer.

BCI can also be used to control brain. It is already successfully experimented on flies, cockroaches, mice and pigeons to implant several electrodes into their brain and remote control them by outputting certain brain pulses that corresponds to certain movements of theirs.

TV cameras can also be modified with BCI for special needs. It can be connected to the brain and send its images to the brain after converting it into brain pulse. This gives blind people a mechanical eye and it is already successfully tested with much precise vision than fresh eyes. Robotic arms are also modified to an artificial arm that can be moved exactly the same way one would move an ordinary arm through electrodes connected to the brain. It can also send back senses of touch and heat.

Thus, as technology innovates, it is wanted in many areas requiring modification of hardware and software for such special needs, and technology develops even further through these modifications.


Post a Comment

<< Home