Thursday, 23 August 2012

Humans are the exception

Even the best checking algorithms can make mistakes when dealing with a language that is as varied and flexible as ours.

The problem with language context is most commonly experienced when using predictive text messaging. How often have you sent a message and the phone has guessed the wrong word? Perhaps it's not as crazy as the one in the picture, but it happens often enough.

Speech recognition is far from complete and people are still having problems using their natural speaking language with a computer. Apple's Siri notoriously has problems understanding anyone with a distinctive accent.

So when looking for the cause of problems, the most probable systemic failure area is where there is a human to system interface. Perhaps one of the greatest challenges to the developers of future computer systems is to make them understand us better. Perhaps this will happen when we finally understand ourselves.

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