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Microsoft Kinect


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why the f**k would it need to. Please tell me a gaming implementation where the difference between the verb and noun of flies could cause a problem?

The full example usually involves the researcher painstakingly training some AI software to understand 'Time flies like an arrow'.

Then immediately trying it with 'Fruit flies like a banana' and seeing what it makes of that.

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Perhaps you'd have been right 10 years ago, if you were talking about terrestrial, 5 channel TV.

We have hundreds of channels in the future, join us. And if you can find a way to change from channel 106 to channel 143 with one button press, I'll give you a shiny pound.

It's not one button. But it's simple, quick and reliable. And it doesn't require you to know the numbers OR the names of the channels. I couldn't name half of the channels I have, but sometimes I scroll down and select Only Fools & Horses on of the UKGOLD\DAVE type channels. I couldn't tell you which channel and I couldn't tell you it was even showing before seeing it on screen.

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This is a totally unneeded feature that nobody would use in practice.

I would use it. You are not everybody.

I just timed myself using the TV guide to change from E4 to BBC News on Virgin Media.

Took six seconds, via the most direct route.

How many times can you say "BBC News" in six seconds.

Come off it, John. If it works properly voice control of entertainment devices is much easier and faster than remotes and menus.

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How does "Current TV" contain any more information for the box to work with than pressing a single button? Saying two words takes longer , especially as you'll likely have to repeat it a few times.

Eh?

"Current TV" is the name of a channel. Channel number 155, as it happens.

To go from BBC1 to Current TV, I have to press "1 5 5" if I know the number (and I know the number of a small fraction of the channels I have) or press:

1: Guide button

2: All channels

3: Scroll down from channel 101 to 155.

Still convinced that is quicker than saying name of the channel?

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All modern PCs can be controlled through speech recognition and voice commands. How many people use that functionality? Typing wand foreheaded amputees aside, no one.

As for changing music tracks / TV channels, what if you have your music / TV turned up above speaking volume, as I'm sure many people do. Do you use your remote to put the TV on mute before issuing voice commands? Or walk up to the mic and shout into it? Or etc etc. Voice control is shit.

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I would use it. You are not everybody.

I just timed myself using the TV guide to change from E4 to BBC News on Virgin Media.

Took six seconds, via the most direct route.

How many times can you say "BBC News" in six seconds.

Come off it, John. If it works properly voice control of entertainment devices is much easier and faster than remotes and menus.

No it wouldn't be faster. You can pick an example of switching directly to a channel you know the name of and that might be faster (if it works obviously). But that's not what most people do most of the time. They bring up a list and browse it. Navigating lists and menus IS cumbersome verbally.

It'd be like dictating this post rather than typing it yourself. Typing IS faster. Using buttons IS faster when it comes to interfaces of any sophistication.

Eh?

"Current TV" is the name of a channel. Channel number 155, as it happens.

Sorry I've never heard of it. I thought you were talking about bringing up a menu.

I've answered the other bit.

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OK, tell me which of these things is easier.

On Virgin media, E4 is channel 143. I only know that because I've just checked it.

Now which is easier. Learning the numbers of all the channels you watch (or even setting them as favourites and scrolling through them) or saying "E4" out loud when you want to change channel?

"E4!"

*TV changes to channel 34*

"EEEEE....faaaaawrrrr."

*You are searching for: Reefer. No matches found*

"Bollocks."

*TV changes to ITV News*

It'd be a neat gimmick, but there's nothing about Natal's voice recognition which suggests it's some new cutting-edge technology that'll make it work more easily for developers, unlike the motion tracking they bought in. They're only demoing it because they put mics in the camera. Frankly I think gesture control's going to be much more significant in Natal's future. Anyone else think it's telling that the New Xbox Experience uses a simple series of panes that scroll left and right?

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OK, tell me which of these things is easier.

On Virgin media, E4 is channel 143. I only know that because I've just checked it.

Now which is easier. Learning the numbers of all the channels you watch (or even setting them as favourites and scrolling through them) or saying "E4" out loud when you want to change channel?

Typing in the channel number is only easier if you've already learned how to do it. In the future we won't need to.

Whoever gave the example of voice controlling last.fm on the 360 had it about right. I'd love to be able to do that shit, it'd make life much easier.

Assuming it works.

Spot on. The only idiocy (I don't know why I was called an idiot earlier?) I can see here is the idea that remembering 3 digit channel numbers is easier and quicker than saying 'sky sports 1' or even 'channel sky sports 1'.

Every time I want to watch sky sports news on freeview I have to bring up the guide, scroll through loads of channels, find it, which isn't always quick as I forget which order it's in and then select it.

I think some people have a totally different perspective on the scope of this stuff to me. The dream of having proper conversations with AI is just that, a dream. That doesn't mean that the technology can't be used wisely in the games world to significantly change gaming and interface manipulation in general.

The way I see it, the controller, voice and motion combo will win out every time. The last.fm example. If were to be able to be playing a game, pause it, and say "last fm radiohead" and it takes me to a menu which I can then manipulate with the pad, motion or voice then great, I'll choose whichever is best for me and my immediate needs.

I am absolutely confident that a voice command of "last fm radiohead" will be much quicker than having to navigate loads of menus and type in (with the pad) radiohead.

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I couldn't name half of the channels I have, but sometimes I scroll down and select Only Fools & Horses on of the UKGOLD\DAVE type channels.

OK then, what if you could just say "Search: Only Fools and Horses" and it looked to see if it was currently broadcasting on any channel. If it wasn't broadcasting at that time, it could bring up an option to watch it on an on demand service.

I'll admit that if you are aimlessly channel surfing, perhaps a remote is better, but if that were the only thing you did with your TV, your remote would have a maximum of five buttons.

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Eh?

"Current TV" is the name of a channel. Channel number 155, as it happens.

To go from BBC1 to Current TV, I have to press "1 5 5" if I know the number (and I know the number of a small fraction of the channels I have) or press:

1: Guide button

2: All channels

3: Scroll down from channel 101 to 155.

Still convinced that is quicker than saying name of the channel?

If you'd put it in your favourites it'd be much easier. And you've got a "page down" button.

Frankly given that the Xbox menu is going to be designed to be keypad driven for the forseeable future, I doubt you'll get some amazing voice control besides the occasional shortcut. And you still need an unambigious command for "this is a voice command".

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OK then, what if you could just say "Search: Only Fools and Horses" and it looked to see if it was currently broadcasting on any channel. If it wasn't broadcasting at that time, it could bring up an option to watch it on an on demand service.

I've never once looked for that show, but I do watch it quite often if I see it's on.

I'll admit that if you are aimlessly channel surfing, perhaps a remote is better, but if that were the only thing you did with your TV, your remote would have a maximum of five buttons.

And so it should. I never use most of them, particularly the numbers.

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How does "Current TV" contain any more information for the box to work with than pressing a single button? Saying two words takes longer , especially as you'll likely have to repeat it a few times.

Not when for the umpteenth time the remote is nowhere to be found. Maybe they should add voice recognition to the remote, then we can ask it where it is. ^_^

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The full example usually involves the researcher painstakingly training some AI software to understand 'Time flies like an arrow'.

Then immediately trying it with 'Fruit flies like a banana' and seeing what it makes of that.

WTF? What the hell has this got to do with games. When is a game ever going to want to make a distinction between 'time flies like an arrow' and fruit flies like a banana'?

To believe that games will want to do this any time soon is strange but to even think about it is mad. It's years and years and years away.

I know the mylo demo was inflamatory and maybe has got people's hopes up but come on, it's all just options from a list, that's all it is and all it will be.

That doesn't mean what's there won't be useful.

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Not when for the umpteenth time the remote is nowhere to be found. Maybe they should add voice recognition to the remote, then we can ask it where it is. ^_^

That's genius.

Remotes should have legs or wheels so they can come to you.

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OK then, what if you could just say "Search: Only Fools and Horses" and it looked to see if it was currently broadcasting on any channel. If it wasn't broadcasting at that time, it could bring up an option to watch it on an on demand service.

Sure, if that technology existed. It doesn't! Natal having a microphone doesn't magically mean that voice control works now. Windows Vista's own cutting-edge voice control technology kind of works for the system commands it has pre-programmed into it, but MS advise you use a mouse and keyboard instead. They say you should use the voice control for dictation, but you'll have to redraft it because it's likely to misunderstand most of what you say. Its main advantage, MS says, is that you don't have to actually type or use your hands for entry, which frees you up for other tasks.

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We have hundreds of channels in the future, join us. And if you can find a way to change from channel 106 to channel 143 with one button press, I'll give you a shiny pound.

You are correct, we have hundreds of channels.

Have you seen how most people use them?

There's effectively two major ways that people select channels:

1. They know there is a programme on that they want to watch, and they know what channel it's on. In this case, they will likely know the channel number, or, alternatively, have set a reminder for it by pressing a single button. In this case, voice recognition would be about as fast as either of those. Except with the added cost of a microphone on the set-top box and a chip in it powerful enough to do voice recognition properly.

2. The far, far more common way people find stuff on their TVs is by flicking through channels on the menus. Very few people think to themselves "I wonder what's on BBC3". They just go through channels 100 through 190 or perhaps, if they're really bored, through all several hundred of them. One by one, glancing at the name of the programme that's on now, and the one that's on next. Nobody is going to want to use voice recognition to do that.

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If you'd put it in your favourites it'd be much easier.

So setting up your favourites is easier than saying two words?

Of course it's not.

And I completely agree that if the voice recognition is shaky, it'll be rubbish. That's why I keep qualifying everything with "Assuming it works".

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And I completely agree that if the voice recognition is shaky, it'll be rubbish. That's why I keep qualifying everything with "Assuming it works".

Yeah, voice control would be great if it works, and has advantages in acting with immediacy (like a command line versus a menu system) or in an "off-hand" fashion when they're doing something else. It just isn't anywhere near there yet so I'm not sure why people are getting so excited about what Natal's going to offer in that regard.

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This still all requires the environment to be nice and quiet and controlled, with no conversations between people going on, no shouting at the game in frustration, no listening to the radio, no talking on the phone. It'd only really work for people in an empty and silent room on their own. It seems quite limited and specific, even assuming it does actually work reliably in the first place

I don't agree with that at all. Current voice recognition does have those problems without doubt but audio filtering is far better now than it even was 5 years ago. A sound tech took me through some of it last year and it's getting there without doubt.

It still doesn't stop you from choosing not to use it in inappropriate situations.

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I've never once looked for that show, but I do watch it quite often if I see it's on.

You're going to be really disappointed when broadcast television gets replaced by on demand...

And so it should. I never use most of them, particularly the numbers.

Never had you pegged as a luddite. What's wrong with progress? With technology trying to make tasks easier?

Sure, if that technology existed. It doesn't! Natal having a microphone doesn't magically mean that voice control works now.

Hang on though, all we really have to go on is the video shown at E3. That being the case, Microsoft are saying that technology does exist.

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You are correct, we have hundreds of channels.

Have you seen how most people use them?

There's effectively two major ways that people select channels:

1. They know there is a programme on that they want to watch, and they know what channel it's on. In this case, they will likely know the channel number, or, alternatively, have set a reminder for it by pressing a single button. In this case, voice recognition would be about as fast as either of those. Except with the added cost of a microphone on the set-top box and a chip in it powerful enough to do voice recognition properly.

2. The far, far more common way people find stuff on their TVs is by flicking through channels on the menus. Very few people think to themselves "I wonder what's on BBC3". They just go through channels 100 through 190 or perhaps, if they're really bored, through all several hundred of them. One by one, glancing at the name of the programme that's on now, and the one that's on next. Nobody is going to want to use voice recognition to do that.

That is exactly how I watch TV and I suspect most people watch TV. Using voice control to surf channels just isn't practical, in the slightest really.

I'm sure voice recognition as its uses, but for watching TV its pointless, if it wasn't surely we'd have seen something in the last few years?

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I think a lot of this stuff is confusion between movies and real life (so no surprise the MS had Spielberg up on stage).

Movie directors come up with stupid stuff like Minority Report hand waving interfaces, and voice recognition interfaces, because they communicate what's happening to an audience really clearly. Much more clearly than having a character on screen sat stock still, making tiny imperceptible muscle movements with his thumb, or pressing some pre-learned quick short cut to jump straight to his favourite channel.

They look good on screen, but aren't really practical in real life.

It almost seems that a love of SF movies drives the development of some of this technology, rather than a genuine desire to solve problems that need solving.

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Hang on though, all we really have to go on is the video shown at E3. That being the case, Microsoft are saying that technology does exist.

A video where a face responded to particular keywords with canned responses. It's not some brand-new technology, unlike the camera, which has a built-in video processor and so on.

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It seems to me that some people genuinely believe that if voice recognition worked and could filter stuff out perfectly then it wouldn't have a place in the home.

Is this true?

Do you really, genuinely believe that?

Voice command would make a huge improvement to so many things it's untrue. Even better, complimenting other forms of control.

I believe that it will be great but we're not there yet by a long shot.

That is exactly how I watch TV and I suspect most people watch TV. Using voice control to surf channels just isn't practical, in the slightest really.

I'm sure voice recognition as its uses, but for watching TV its pointless, if it wasn't surely we'd have seen something in the last few years?

This is what I'm questioning. You truely believe that having the option to go "E4" and for it to work flawlessly wouldn't be a good and useful thing?

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Yeah, voice control would be great if it works, and has advantages in acting with immediacy (like a command line versus a menu system)....

I understand now.

You're looking at this from completely the wrong direction. This isn't using command line because it's more immediate than a GUI. It's the other way around. It's telling your TV what to do because it's more user friendly than using a clumsy physical/menu interface.

It's thinking "I want to listen to Radiohead" and being able to just say it, and it happens. It's being able to say "Put match of the day on" and it happens. It's like saying "What action movies can I download? and being given a list. This all fits perfectly into the on demand model the media is moving towards.

Further down the line, it'll be like saying "What GOOD action movies can I download" and it brings up a combination of things you've said you've enjoyed before, and recommendations".

None of this is a massive leap from existing tech. If we gave up on everything because it doesn't work right now, we'd never make any progress.

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