Computer learns vowels like a baby

A team of researchers say they've developed a computer program that can learn to decipher sounds the way a baby does.

A team of researchers has developed a computer program that can learn to decipher sounds the way a baby does.

The impetus behind the program was to better understand how people learn to talk, or more specifically, to see whether language is hard-wired in the brain.

Tests of the computer model back up a theory that babies learn to speak by sorting through different sounds until they understand the structure of a language, according to James McClelland, a psychology professor at Stanford University who wrote a paper on the subject that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. McClelland was quoted in a an article from Reuters.

McClelland's team found that the computer could track vowel sounds just like a baby. "In the past, people have tried to argue it wasn't possible for any machine to learn these things," he said in the Reuters article.

 

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