How designers are grappling with the challenges of creating a computer “personality”

By John MarkoffWhen computers speak, how human should they sound? This was a question that a team of six IBM linguists, engineers and marketers faced in 2009, when they began designing a function that turned text into speech for Watson, the company’s Jeopardy!-playing artificial intelligence programme.Eighteen months later, a carefully crafted voice — sounding not quite human but also not quite like HAL 9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey — expressed Watson’s synthetic character in a highly publicised match in which the programme defeated two of the best human Jeopardy! players.The challenge of creating a computer “personality” is now one that a growing number of software designers are grappling with as computers become portable and users with busy hands and eyes increasingly use voice interaction.Machines are listening, understanding…


Link to Full Article: How designers are grappling with the challenges of creating a computer “personality”