If we talk about what are the tools that we can use in developing communication, than I say that â€śtechnology is one of the tools that we can use for communicationâ€ť. Worlds are globalizing, we cannot depend on only one medium. We are lucky to have science gift that is technology. Communicating involves giving, receiving and making sense of information. Children do this by using non-verbal means of communication, talking, listening, thinking, and understanding. In time, the skills of reading and writing enrich this experience.
Communicating is a two-way activity; as well as learning to share their experiences with others children also learn to interpret what others are sharing with them. They communicate in many different ways including facial expressions, gestures, body movements, sounds, language and for some children, through assistive technology. Childrenâ€™s language is more than words, phrases and sentences. It includes art, Braille, dance, drama, music, poetry, pictures, sculpture, signing, and stories.
While most children eventually master spoken and written language as their key means of communicating, they continue to speak through their gestures, body movements and expressions to a greater or lesser extent. Some children with special educational needs may need additional and consistent support throughout their lifetime to practise, learn and perfect the art of non-verbal communication. Language technologies are information technologies that are specialized for dealing with the most complex information medium in our world: human language. Therefore these technologies are also often subsumed under the term Human Language Technology.
Human language occurs in spoken and written form. Whereas speech is the oldest and most natural mode of language communication, complex information and most of human knowledge is maintained and transmitted in written texts. Speech and text technologies process or produce language in these two modes of realization. But language also has aspects that are shared between speech and text such as dictionaries, most of grammar and the meaning of sentences. Thus large parts of language technology cannot be subsumed under speech and text technologies. Among those are technologies that link language to knowledge.
We do not know how language, knowledge and thought are represented in the human brain. Nevertheless, language technology had to create formal representation systems that link language to concepts and tasks in the real world. This provides the interface to the fast growing area of knowledge technologies. In our communication we mix language with other modes of communication and other information media. We combine speech with gesture and facial expressions. Digital texts are combined with pictures and sounds. Movies may contain language and spoken and written form.
Thus speech and text technologies overlap and interact with many other technologies that facilitate processing of multimodal communication and multimedia documents. Although existing LT systems are far from achieving human ability, they have numerous possible applications. The goal is to create software products that have some knowledge of human language. Such products are going to change our lives. They are urgently needed for improving human-machine interaction since the main obstacle in the interaction between human and computer is merely a communication problem.
Today’s computers do not understand our language but computer languages are difficult to learn and do not correspond to the structure of human thought. Even if the language the machine understands and its domain of discourse are very restricted, the use of human language can increase the acceptance of software and the productivity of its users. Language technologies helps in developing listening and speaking skills Being a good communicator is crucial to childrenâ€™s development. The adult encourages children to communicate by listening to them, interpreting what they are saying, responding to them, and by modeling good communication.
The adult also provides an environment which motivates children to interact with each other and the adult, and with the objects and places in it. By capturing childrenâ€™s interest and curiosity and challenging them to explore and to share their adventures and discoveries with others, this environment can fuel their thinking, imagination and creativity, thereby enriching communication. These early experiences support children in becoming confident and competent communicators Natural language interfaces enable the user to communicate with the computer in French, English, German, or another human language.
Some applications of such interfaces are database queries, information retrieval from texts, so-called expert systems, and robot control. Current advances in the recognition of spoken language improve the usability of many types of natural language systems. Communication with computers using spoken language will have a lasting impact upon the work environment; completely new areas of application for information technology will open up. However, spoken language needs to be combined with other modes of communication such as pointing with mouse or finger.
If such multimodal communication is finally embedded in an effective general model of cooperation, we have succeeded in turning the machine into a partner. The ultimate goal of research is the omnipresent access to all kinds of technology and to the global information structure by natural interaction. In an ambitious but not too far-fetched scenario, language technology provides the interface to an ambient intelligence providing assistance at work and in many situations of daily life. Language technologies can also help people communicate with each other.
Much older than communication problems between human beings and machines are those between people with different mother tongues. One of the original aims of language technology has always been fully automatic translation between human languages. From bitter experience scientists have realized that they are still far away from achieving the ambitious goal of translating unrestricted texts. Nevertheless, they have been able to create software systems that simplify the work of human translators and clearly improve their productivity.
Less than perfect automatic translations can also be of great help to information seekers who have to search through large amounts of texts in foreign languages. The most serious bottleneck for e-commerce is the volume of communication between business and customers or among businesses. Language technology can help to sort, filter and route incoming email. It can also assist the customer relationship agent to look up information and to compose a response. In cases where questions have been answered before, language Technology can find appropriate earlier replies and automatically respond.
Courtney from Study Moose
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