Lip Reading Computers Not Far Off

In the far future, your computer will be able to read your lips. That is, if researchers at the U of East Anglia are successful in their three-year project. The idea is sound: using technology similar to character recognition, a computer can take input from a video camera, for example, and parse the position of a person’s lips at specified intervals. It then uses algorithms much like those that your phone uses for predictive texting, trying to fill in the blanks before it gets to them. This way, the computer can put together phrases a persons (or “perp”) is likely saying as text.

If the researchers can get the bugs worked out, and the reliability is sound, then it would make a powerful crimefighting weapon. Detectives in the FBI often use lip-reading as a way to stealthfully steal information for unwary suspects. Digitizing and automating the process means that any camera anywhere might know what you’re saying at any given time. Scared? Then you must be a criminal.

Crime-fighting potential for computerised lip-reading [EurekAlert!]