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Thursday, March 01, 2001

Computer Talks Like a Toddler
Will Knight


Scientists at Artificial Intelligence NV (Ai) based in Tel Aviv, Israel, say they have developed a computer that has learnt to talk like a toddler. If successful, the scheme promises to do away with keyboards and bring an era of more personal home computers.
Ai says it has adopted an unconventional approach to creating a truly conversant computer. Ai says its computers have just a simple set of learning algorithms and develop speech by talking to humans. According to Ai, the computer has even fooled observers into thinking they are communicating with a child. This is symbolic as it represents the acid test for intelligence devised by British mathematician Alan Turing.
Ai has yet to demonstrate its technology, but the promise of more human computing has already sparked interest from some researchers. Steve Grand, a British artificial intelligence researcher developing a robot with learning capabilities, says that language could hold the key to home computing in the future.