AI Lip Reading Better Than Human, Like HAL 9000

Google's Deep Mind, in association with researchers from the University of Oxford, has created a lip-reading system that is better than human.


(Lip reading demo with subtitled solution from AI)

The AI vastly outperformed a professional lip-reader who attempted to decipher 200 randomly selected clips from the data set.

The professional annotated just 12.4 per cent of words without any error. But the AI annotated 46.8 per cent of all words in the March to September data set without any error. And many of its mistakes were small slips, like missing an ‘s’ at the end of a word. With these results, the system also outperforms all other automatic lip-reading systems.

“It’s a big step for developing fully automatic lip-reading systems,” says Ziheng Zhou at the University of Oulu in Finland. “Without that huge data set, it’s very difficult for us to verify new technologies like deep learning.”

In the film 2001:A Space Odyssey, the HAL 9000 computer was able to read lips.


(HAL 9000 [background] eavesdrops on astronauts Poole and Bowman)

In the film, HAL's increasingly erratic behavior becomes a matter of concern for the astronauts. Since HAL can effectively monitor every part of the ship, the astronauts retire to a small pod to discuss the matter. Unfortunately, it turns out that somebody did research on computer lip-reading, and so HAL was on to them, with very unfortunate results for Poole.

Via New Scientist.

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