[ExI] accent

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sun Aug 28 23:03:17 UTC 2016

I sent this to Spike and he asked that I post it:

If and when (I am thinking 'when') the idea of a robot caregiver who can
interact with a patient verbally becomes reality it will become extremely
important that the AI recognize and duplicate the accent the patient has.

Ex. - way back when I was an elder in the Methodist church no black was
admitted.  Then we had a visit from a missionary from Africa who had been
raised in a French-speaking country.  He, of course, spoke nothing like the
Alabama blacks and he was warmly admitted for a sermon etc.  The accent
somehow made him a completely different person.  (As an aside, did you ever
hear Jim Nabors sing?  His high-pitched nasal voice on the tv show was
nothing like the big baritone that came out when he started singing.  My
friend and I were watching and were just totally amazed.  Nabors had become
a different person.)

There is simply no question that if that French black had spoken with an
Alabama black accent he would not have been admitted.

There is something very comforting about a person with your accent.  Like
comfort food, it feels like home.

If there were any way to duplicate familiar aromas,that would also be a
comfort to the patient.

All of this is encouraging the process of identification of the patient
with the AI, and all of the above will be vital.

My former inlaws were in a nursing home, which had three levels of ability,
and my father-in-law moved eventually into the last one.  I wish everyone
who has an elderly relative or friend could have seen the faces of those
people when a baby was brought into the open ward.

It was like God had descended.  The faces were awed and rapturous.

I know that there are many programs which bring singers, babies, dogs, etc.
into these places and more are needed.

But there is no substitute for being able to communicate with someone who
'talks your language'.

bill w
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