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Talking computers nearing reality

July 10, 2003

The technical kinks, high costs and application misfires that have held back the acceptance of speech recognition and activation are being ironed out.

Talking paperclip inspires less irksome virtual assistant

July 30, 2009

CALO (Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes) — a project that involved over 60 universities and research organisations and is the largest ever non-classified AI project — ends this Friday and has produced a virtual assistant that can sort, prioritize, and summarize email; automatically schedule meetings; and prepare briefing notes before them.

Talking to bacteria

February 12, 2004

Scientists have genetically engineered bacteria to “talk” to each other in a new language, bringing us one step closer to turning cells into tiny robots that we can control by flooding them with chemicals.

Bacteria already communicate with each other by sending out chemical signals, in response to stress, for example, causing them to switch on genes in neighboring cells that change their behavior.

“You could use this… read more

Talking to the Wall

May 4, 2011

A person acts as an antenna for stray electromagnetic radiation in the environment (credit: Microsoft Research)

Researchers at Microsoft and the University of Washington have found a way to harness ambient electromagnetic radiation for a computer interface that turns any wall in a building into a touch-sensitive surface.

The technology could allow light switches, thermostats, stereos, televisions, and security systems to be controlled from anywhere in the house, and could lead to new interfaces for games.

When a person touches a wall with electrical… read more

Talking to your car becoming natural

April 14, 2004

IBM is developing a system that allows a driver hold a two-way antural-language conversation with a car.

Current car speech recognition systems require the user to learn and use a set of commands.

By logging onto the Internet, it could access everything from traffic updates to e-mails.

Talking to Your Phone

July 16, 2010

A new wave of smartphone apps combines speech recognition and artificial intelligence to help people carry out simple tasks on their mobile devices.

The latest such service, “SuperDialer” from Vlingo,  combines a user’s spoken commands with personal data (such as address book) and information online. The forthcoming Vlingo Answers will attempt to answer a user’s question, using search engines and other Web sources.

Talking Web, memory assistants and solar-powered cell phones headed mainstream, IBM says

December 1, 2008

A talking Web, solar technology embedded in windows and cell phones, the end of forgetting, digital shopping assistants, and “crystal balls” to predict our future health will all come in the next five years, IBM predicts in its third annual Next Five in Five list.

Tamiflu could boost drug-resistant flu in wild birds

October 18, 2006

In a flu pandemic, millions of people are expected to take the antiviral drug Tamiflu, but new research shows that ultimately much of the drug will pass through the people taking it and end up in waterways. Chances are it will then linger long enough to promote Tamiflu-resistant flu viruses in wild birds.

Taming data overload with AI and grid computing

April 9, 2007

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute are building a prototype of a system that will address the problem of data overload by automating scientific workflows.

The $13.8 million Windward project aims at “Scaleable Knowledge Discovery through Grid Workflows,” using AI and grid computing.

Taming time travel

July 26, 2010

Researchers led by Seth Lloyd at MIT have a new theory of time travel that evades the “grandfather paradox,” in which a traveler jumps back in time and kills his grandfather, which prevents his own existence.

This version is called a post-selected model, in which paradoxical situations are censored. A downside: this version causes possible but unlikely events to happen more frequently.

Tangible display makes 3D images touchable

July 2, 2007

A system that makes three dimensional images solid enough to grasp has been unveiled by Japanese firm NTT. It could let businesspeople shake hands from across the globe or allow museum visitors to feel precious exhibits that are normally out of reach, the company says.

The prototype Tangible 3D system combines a 3D display with a “haptic glove.” The display creates lifelike images that appear in just in front… read more

Tangible Interfaces for Computers

November 10, 2003

SenseTable, by James Patten of MIT’s Tangible Media Group project, aims at conceiving better human-machine interfaces by using the concept of physical objects that the user can manipulate to represent abstract computer data and commands.

The device looks and works a lot like what was envisioned in Minority Report. It uses pressure to track blocks on a sensitive surface and feeds back to the user by superimposing graphical data.

Tangled proteins may spread Alzheimer’s through brain

June 8, 2009

The transmission of abnormal tau proteins that form tangles in cells may explain how Alzheimer’s spreads throughout a patient’s brain, Laboratory of Molecular Biology researchers have found.

Tantalising evidence hints Universe is finite

October 9, 2003

Scientists have announced hints that the Universe is actually relatively small — something like 70 billion light years across — with a hall-of-mirrors illusion tricking us into thinking that space stretches on forever.

The thinking is based on observations by NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), which measures temperature ripples in the cosmic microwave background.

Our Universe seems like an endlessly repeating set of dodecahedrons (12 identical pentagons)… read more

Tantalizing clues to the chemical origins of life

June 15, 2009

An artificial DNA-like molecule that can change its sequence to bind to a DNA template without the help of enzymes has been created by researchers at the Scripps Research Institute.

The thioester peptide nucleic acid (tPNA) has a peptide (amino acid) backbone on which bases anchor, analogous to the sugar-phosphates backbone on which bases anchor in DNA and RNA. When presented with a DNA template molecule, the… read more

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