The primary job of machines, and technology, is to make life easier and simpler. This thumb rule applies to all forms of innovation and invention. It is no different now for tasks seemingly exclusive to human beings. For example, you cannot have a machine to act as a caregiver, at least not till date! However, with rapid strides in technology, speech impairment treatment is a field that has benefited immensely. This is another area where only human beings were deemed fit for work. Modern technology has changed all of that!
Meet Kaspar, a robot designed at the University of Hertfordshire. The purpose of this robot is to interact and help communication skills in autistic children. It was developed in 2005 and only over the next few years that it has shaped up to be a good friend to children who have special needs for communication. Over time, Kaspar has picked up new skills in interaction, making it more ‘human’ by the day! It can play games like peekaboo or help children imitate words and phrases. Obviously, with time, it will develop further skills to take on its job of a full-fledged speech therapist!
Kaspar is no flash in the pan when it comes to speech therapy through technology. The Sheffield University has developed a computer program that helps patients who have suffered strokes to communicate or speak. As you know, strokes often wrecks havoc with the speech of a person. At times, the person can barely put a few words or syllables together. Thanks to this computer program, stroke patients can practice speaking and communicating with the help of a computer. Various countries and hospitals are already using this technological innovation to help patients speak.
Work is being done in the field of speech recognition that will bridge the gap between the therapy provided by a machine as opposed to a human being. The future looks more than promising in the domain of speech Impairment Treatment! It is true that it will take some time for this new wave in technology to reach Indian shores. If there are developments anywhere in the world, the benefits are sure to trickle down and help someone you know, in your own circle of family and friends. It is only a matter of time!