The innovators: can computers be taught to lip-read?

Dr Helen Bear has developed technology at the University of East Anglia to read people’s lips. Photograph: Martin Pope for the Guardian When Zinedine Zidane, the then French captain, headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final, the clash quickly became one of the most infamous incidents in football history. What was not clear was what sparked the Frenchman’s ire – Zidane said his mother had been insulted, a charge that Materazzi vigorously denied. Facebook Twitter Pinterest France’s Zinedine Zidane (L) and Italy’s Marco Materazzi during the World Cup 2006 final. The head-butt saw Zidane sent off and Italy win the game. However, had there been technology there to identify what was said, the result could have been very different, Dr Helen Bear believes. “If a machine lip…


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