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Human language's deep origins appear to have come directly from birds and primates

Human language's deep origins appear to have come directly from birds and primates | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Human language builds on birdsong and speech forms of other primates, researchers hypothesize in new research. From birds, the researchers say, we derived the melodic part of our language, and from other primates, the pragmatic, content-carrying parts of speech. Sometime within the last 100,000 years, those capacities fused into roughly the form of human language that we know today.

 

The expressive layer and lexical layer have antecedents, the researchers believe, in the languages of birds and other mammals, respectively. For instance, in another paper published last year, Miyagawa, Berwick, and Okanoya presented a broader case for the connection between the expressive layer of human language and birdsong, including similarities in melody and range of beat patterns.

 

Birds, however, have a limited number of melodies they can sing or recombine, and nonhuman primates have a limited number of sounds they make with particular meanings. That would seem to present a challenge to the idea that human language could have derived from those modes of communication, given the seemingly infinite expression possibilities of humans.

 

Reference:

Shigeru Miyagawa, Shiro Ojima, Robert C. Berwick, Kazuo Okanoya. The integration hypothesis of human language evolution and the nature of contemporary languages. Frontiers in Psychology, 2014; 5 DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00564


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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33rd Square: RoboEarth Project Aims To Build Cloud for Robots

33rd Square: RoboEarth Project Aims To Build Cloud for Robots | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
The RoboEarth project aims to build a cloud computing platform for robotics.
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Why Facebook Bought Oculus Rift for $2 Billion | MIT Technology Review

Why Facebook Bought Oculus Rift for $2 Billion | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
Facebook acquired Oculus Rift because it believes virtual reality could be the next big thing after mobile.
Sharrock's insight:

This could be huge! People might one day interact using animated avatars in virtual public, virtual private, in constructed locations or in fantasy realms. Not just in games but in immediate narratives. Educational innovations will probably quickly follow behind the entertainment innovations as will some STEM business applications.  People will be able to interact with virtual objects, concepts, and symbols that will allow creativity and innovation. New recording technologies may develop as well, transforming all that occurs in this virtual reality into a kind of narrative.

Very soon though, there might be other innovations where existing technologies that include touch-simulation and gesture controls might get integrated with the Oculus concept in a way that brings people close to the "holodeck" experience. 

 

excerpt: 

"The headset, designed by 21-year-old Palmer Luckey, has been available as a developer kit since March 2013. So far it’s primarily been used for video games (see “Can Oculus Rift Turn Virtual Wonder into Commercial Reality?”). John Carmack, co-creator of the seminal 3-D video game Doom, joined Oculus VR in August; many enthusiasts and independent game makers have already released games and demos for the hardware. This has happened even though the company hasn’t announced a launch date for a commercial version of the hardware. At this point the device isn’t expected to be released any earlier than the end of this year."

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highcodata's comment, April 1, 8:06 AM
Au delà de la transaction financière, ce qui comptera ce sont les usages qui ne se limitent pas qu'au jeu comme en témoigne la vidéo de tesco qui revisite le parcours shopper http://tiny.cc/xezmdx
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Per Ola Kristensson | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review

Per Ola Kristensson | Innovators Under 35 | MIT Technology Review | Science, Technology, and Current Futurism | Scoop.it
New computing devices are inspiring new ways to input text.

 

"His work on tools for disabled people illustrates his approach to problem solving. Many people who can’t speak and have very limited manual dexterity communicate by slowly typing words and prompting a computer to pronounce them. Their communication speed averages one or two words per minute. In such a laborious process, predicting the speaker’s intent can greatly accelerate the task. This requires what is known as a statistical language model. “I was amazed to find that in 30 years of development of this kind of technology, no one had produced a good statistical model for the things these people need to say,” Kristensson explains.

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