[Noisebridge-discuss] speechjammer - we need one for meetings

John Morgan dr1ce315 at gmail.com
Sat Mar 3 19:07:50 UTC 2012

Mic check?
On Mar 3, 2012 4:12 AM, "Duncan" <duncan at justduncan.com> wrote:

> There's an iPhone app for that:  DAF Assistant, made by Artefact, LLC.
> The program also includes Frequency-shifting Auditory Feedback (FAF), which
> when used with DAF, creates the so-called "chorus effect" which further
> boosts the beneficial properties of DAF for stuttering, slowing down
> speech, increasing speech fluency (i.e. reducing mumbling), implementing
> regional accent reduction, increasing confidence levels, and developing
> good speaking habits.  I've used it and it does work incredibly well for
> achieving those things.
> I've never experienced the speech jammer effect alluded to in the article,
> but then I'm from the South where we learn young not to talk when you don't
> know what the hell you're talking about.  Without such clarity of thought
> though, it might well.
> Interesting... Thanks!
> On Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 11:59 AM, Jake <jake at spaz.org> wrote:
>> we can just build one, it's pretty simple technology.
>> http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/242444.php
>> "SpeechJammer" Invention Stops A Person Talking Mid-Sentence
>> Featured Article
>> Main Category: Medical Devices / Diagnostics
>> Also Included In: Psychology / Psychiatry;  Hearing / Deafness
>> Article Date: 02 Mar 2012 - 11:00 PST
>> Healthcare Prof:
>> Two researchers in Japan have invented a "SpeechJammer" device that can
>> stop a person talking in mid-sentence, by just projecting back to them
>> "their own utterances at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds". The
>> device does not stop them talking permanently, it is just that they become
>> so confused, they can't finish their sentence and begin to stutter or just
>> shut up.
>> The two researchers are Kazutaka Kurihara, a media interaction research
>> scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and
>> Technology, and Koji Tsukada, an assistant professor at Ochanomizu
>> University, and a researcher at JST PRESTO, a program that aims to
>> "cultivate the seeds of precursory science and technology".
>> They describe their prototype SpeechJammer, and the results of some
>> experiments, in a paper published on 28 February on arVix, an e-print
>> service owned, operated and quality controlled by Cornell University.
>> The researchers say the device causes no physical discomfort to the
>> interrupted speaker, and the effect stops as soon as they stop speaking.
>> The prototype SpeechJammer looks like a black cube about the size of a
>> shoebox mounted on a shaft which acts as a handle. The box contains a
>> direction-sensitive speaker, and on top of it is a direction-sensitive
>> microphone.
>> On Kazutaka Kurihara's personal website there is a short video
>> demonstrating the use of the device in two scenarios.
>> The first scenario shows a small group of people in an office, working at
>> their computers, when one of them receives a call on her cellphone. The
>> conversation begins to irritate the others, and then one of them decides
>> to take action. He points the SpeechJammer at the irritating talker,
>> interrupting her mid-sentence in her cellphone conversation, whereupon she
>> appears confused, and then stops.
>> In the other scenario, a lecturer is talking and his lecture has run over
>> time. Many of his students are looking quite bored and fed up and one of
>> them takes the SpeechJammer, points it at the lecturer, and he trips over
>> his own words and stutters, interrupting his flow.
>> The SpeechJammer works on the principle of Delayed Audio Feedback or DAF.
>> There is a theory that when we speak, we use the sound of our own voice
>> uttering the words to help us. But, if that "playback" is artificially
>> delayed, it interrupts the cognitive processing that helps us maintain our
>> flow. In fact, there is a theory that something akin to DAF is what
>> happens to people who stutter, and it is known that artificially induced
>> DAF can help reduce stuttering.
>> In their paper the researchers describe how they experimented with two
>> speech contexts: one where the speaker was reading news out loud and
>> another that was a "spontaneous monologue".
>> It appears that speech jamming is more successful, with this prototype, in
>> the news out loud than in the monologue context, and also, it became
>> obvious that it never works when meaningless sound is uttered, like when
>> someone says "Ahhh" over a long period of time.
>> With reference to research on communication and decision making, Kurihara
>> and Tsukada point out that applying rules and constraints on verbal
>> contributions can change the properties of the discussion, and they also
>> mention how "negative features" of speech can be "barriers toward peaceful
>> communication".
>> They propose that using the SpeechJammer to place a constraint on
>> communication, by simply making "speech difficult for some people", it
>> might "bring meaningful changes to communication patterns in discussions".
>> Such a system "points the way to promising future research relating to
>> discussion dynamics," they write.
>> In their paper, the researchers focus very much on the science: the
>> physics of the device and how it might be improved to deal with various
>> parameters, plus the science of communication, and make no mention of the
>> ethical and legal aspects of developing a machine that makes people stop
>> talking.
>> Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
>> Copyright: Medical News Today
>> Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
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