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E. Helping Deaf Children "See" Speech

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz have developed an animated, computer controlled talking head to help deaf children learn to speak properly. Dominic Massaro, a professor of psychology, says this cyberhead goes by the name Baldi.

Massaro: The idea of using this for instruction for the deaf first requires us to think about how you might think of language and communication more generally and that is, people seem to appreciate most face-to-face communication.

Narrator: The software program targets children who have poor articulation.

Massaro: So what we hope to do with our talking head is to tutor these children in the spoken language so that they can become better speakers of the language and obviously, you could do that with natural faces, too. And certainly people have done this. There are a couple advantages to our talking head has and one is that it's simply a cyberhead, it doesn't get tired or bored or upset.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.