September 14, 2009
Computers better lip-readers than humans
British scientists say their finding that computers are better lip-readers than humans may lead to improved lip-reading training for the deaf.
A new study by the University of East Anglia compared the performance of a machine-based lip-reading system with that of 19 human lip-readers. The researchers found the automated system significantly outperformed the human lip-readers -- scoring a recognition rate of 80 percent, compared with only 32 percent for human viewers on the same task.
This pilot study is the first time an automated lip-reading system has been benchmarked against human lip-readers and the results are perhaps surprising, said the study's lead author Sarah Hilder.
With just four hours of training it helped them improve their lip-reading skills markedly. We hope this research will represent a real technological advance for the deaf community.
The findings by Hilder, Richard Harvey and Barry-John Theobald appear in the Proceedings of the International Conference on Auditory-Visual Speech Processing. The findings were presented during the conference Saturday at the University of East Anglia.