November 01, 2021

A Good Sign


A Good Sign
Video communication technology has helped the deaf community a lot.  Photo by SHVETS via Pexels

Researcher and computer recognition system developer Alexei Pikhodko is working with the Technical University of Novosibirsk to create a program that will convert video of Russian Sign Language seamlessly into written Russian language. While there are programs that do this for American Sign Language and written English, this will be the first program to provide these benefits to a Russian audience. 

The university hopes to use this program to the benefit of its deaf student population. Pikhodko, who is deaf himself, can uniquely understand the challenges that a deaf student faces at a university while interacting with their hearing professors. While human interpreters are a great resource, they can also be rather expensive. 

As of now, the program is being tested by the very interpreters it seeks to replace, but by December, the program will be free and available to anyone who wishes to use it. The program in its current state is only able to capture individual words/signs, but Pikhodko hopes that in the future it will be able to create complex sentences in many different languages from all over the world. 

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