Wednesday January 17, 2018

Technology to bring Indian languages together

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New Delhi: India is developing and rising in all spheres be it infrastructure, economy, education or women empowerment. The government is making sincere efforts to usher in changes in all domains. The diversity of our country needs no explanation though with this diversity comes diverse problems to deal with.

One of the biggest issues since the independence of India has been the problem of communication due to its multi-lingual societies as the number of Indian languages is simply astounding. With over 1.25 billion people and more than a thousand languages (and dialects), India is one of the most diverse nations in this aspect.

India now needs to build a bridge amongst its language-based communities; and in this age of technology, the medium is supposed to be tech friendly.

Ministry of Communication & Information Technology (MC&IT) has initiated ‘Technology Development for Indian Languages’ programme, developing information processing tools and technologies to enhance human interaction with technology without any language barrier.

The ministry is creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources for Indian languages and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services. People of India are getting attracted to use regional languages on their respective phones and computers.

The ministry is creating and accessing multilingual knowledge resources for Indian languages and integrating them to develop innovative user products and services.

These language-friendly technologies are being developed to empower and facilitate people to have easy access to developing telecom and internet facilities.

The programme promotes language technology standardization through active participation in international and national standardization bodies such as ISO, UNICODE, World-Wide-Web consortium (W3C) and BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards), to ensure adequate representation of Indian languages in existing and future language technology standards.

Though, these technologies are slowly budding to facilitate multi-lingual bridges of communication, how they would help bring about the change in people’s perception of feeling linguistically disoriented, is the question.

These language-friendly technologies are being developed to empower and facilitate people to have easy access to developing telecom and internet facilities.

Telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad pointed out the ways these technologies will bring change.

“A number of initiatives to develop tools, like language CDs and keyboard drivers for android based mobile devices, technologies like machine translation, optical character recognition, cross-lingual information, text to speech, automatic speech recognition etc. and standards like Unicode, web standards, speech standards, corpus standards and natural language processing standards, have been taken.”

With easy access to technology in regional Indian languages, people are getting more interested in learning new tools as now, they can understand and communicate in a simpler and better ways.

The inflow of information for agriculture, climate, welfare and health etc. is rising as people now get all their queries answered in the regional language they understand.

These efforts are expected to empower regional dialects and, in return, people would not struggle to understand languages alien to them. By building this bridge of technology and languages, the age old animosity due to linguistic extremes should subside, allowing people to converse in their preferred dialects without any hindrance.

This would help the flow of knowledge in regional dialects, bringing language independence within people, aiding them fill the linguistic gap in the country. These governmental efforts aiming to reduce social disparity due to the multilingual fabric of India is being seen in good light by people who were, till now, unable to take full advantage to technology due to the linguistic barrier.

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Non-invasive brainwave technology can potentially cut post-traumatic stress

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

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Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
Brainwaves can now potentially cure PTSD.
  • The new technology aims to reduce the effect of post traumatic stress in an individual.
  • It can reduce many post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety.

Researchers have developed a non-invasive brainwave mirroring technology that can significantly reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress, especially in military personnel.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.

PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems.
PTSD can cause Insomnia, Anxiety and many other mental problems. Wikipediacommon

The symptoms include insomnia, poor concentration, sadness, re-experiencing traumatic events, irritability or hyper-alertness, as well as diminished autonomic cardiovascular regulation.

“Ongoing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, whether clinically diagnosed or not, are a pervasive problem in the military,” said lead investigator Charles H. Tegeler, professor, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre in North Carolina.

“Medications are often used to help control specific symptoms, but can produce side effects. Other treatments may not be well tolerated, and few show a benefit for the associated sleep disturbance. Additional non-invasive, non-drug therapies are needed,” Tegeler added.

In the study, published in the journal Military Medical Research, the team used a high-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring (HIRREM) — a non-invasive method, in which computer software algorithms translate specific brain frequencies into audible tones in real time.

This provides a chance for the brain to listen to itself through an acoustic mirror, Tegeler said.

The results showed reductions in post-traumatic symptoms, including insomnia, depressive mood and anxiety after six months of using the brainwave technology.

The technology works through resonance between brain frequencies and the acoustic stimulation, where the brain is supported to make self-adjustments towards improved balance and reduced hyperarousal. It requires no conscious or cognitive activity.

The net effect is to support the brain to reset stress response patterns that have been rewired by repetitive traumatic events, physical or non-physical, the researchers said. IANS

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