Every day, in his column "The innovation of the day", Anicet Mbida gives us what is best in terms of new technologies.

On Tuesday, he looks at a technology developed by an English university that allows speech to be transformed into sign language using an avatar.

We see them on rare occasions on television, when the law requires it, but they have no place in the majority of programs, nor in theaters or conferences for example.

These people are the interpreters capable of translating speech into sign language.

While France has 120,000 deaf people and 360,000 severely hearing impaired people, the screen presence and daily presence of these professionals is not sufficient.

There are between 400 and 500 qualified interpreters only in France.

But artificial intelligence could be a game-changer.

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The first system to feature an avatar

Tuesday, in his column "The innovation of the day"


 Anicet Mbida presents this technology called SignGAN and developed by the English University of Surrey.

This artificial intelligence makes it possible to translate speech into sign language by generating, in real time from a voice, the video of a person signing everything that is said.

There are already automatic transcription systems or those which add subtitles in real time.

But this is the first system to feature an avatar speaking with his hands, just like a human would.

The machine will always have difficulty translating certain nuances

This artificial intelligence was especially designed to be used in intimate or delicate situations, such as an appointment with the gynecologist or a termination interview.

These moments are now very difficult to manage without an interpreter.

Still, artificial intelligence is not magic.

The machine will always have difficulty translating certain nuances and certain humoristic features.

For the moment, it therefore does not replace humans.

But this can already make all places where we speak much more accessible for people affected by deafness and hearing impairments.