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Archive for the 'Engineering' Category

Artificial intelligence expertise earns professor a patent

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Randy Fish

It is estimated that 300 million people use Google every day in their quest to find information on the web. Imagine having the ability to not only search online text files for specific words but also to search audio files for specific sounds. Thanks in part to Messiah College Engineering Professor Randy Fish, that technology is now patented.
Fish and a team of five others have spent the past seven years perfecting and patenting “audio hot spotting,” a search engine technology that allows users to search audio files for a specific word or phrase, a particular speaker, a speaker’s tone, or characteristics like laughter and applause.
This type of “audio hot spotting” might, for example, be helpful to a user who only wants to hear the portions of a speech that caused an audience to react with applause or laughter.
The challenge, according to Fish, was developing the artificial intelligence algorithms able to discern emotion in a voice, regardless of whether the voice is male or female, and to recognize applause and laughter generically.
Other systems attempt this type of audio searching, Fish says, but only this patented system gives users access to emotions and non-speaking sounds in addition to searching on what was said or who said it.


Unwritten last chapter

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Ray Norman

Believing that “people are remarkable stories” with the last chapter unwritten, Ray Norman, dean of the School of Science, Engineering, and Health, embraces opportunities to learn about people and hear their personal stories.

That skill has come in handy as he has managed a water and mobility project in West Africa for the past several years.

West Africa is an area where oral storytelling is valued. Norman knows the region and the art of storytelling well as he grew up there.

When Norman, a water engineer by trade, came to Messiah in 2002, the College’s Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research had already been working in Africa, specifically Burkina Faso, for a number of years. In 2005, World Vision approached Norman and asked for the Collaboratory’s assistance to design latrines and wells accessible to handicapped people in Mali.