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Why Hal Will Never Exist

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the read-my-lips dept.

Technology 325

aengblom writes "Researchers at the University of Maryland's Human-Computer Interaction Lab are suggesting what many of us have already guessed. The future of human-computer interaction won't be through speech--it will remain visual (they explain why). The Washington Post is running a story about the researchers and how they think we will get computers to do what we want. The article is a fascinating read and is joined by a great video clip (real or quicktime) of the researchers and their methods. The Post is holding an online discussion with the researchers tomorrow. Also check-out Photomesa the lab's software program that helps track images on a computer. (Throw a directory with a 1,000 high-res files at this thing and you can justify that pricey new computer you bought)."

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Lewsers! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489346)

While you were all asleep or having sex, I was getting the first post on Slashdot!

HA! Who's a loser now?

Huh? Huh?

Re:Lewsers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489458)

I feel so sad

Happy dude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489502)

Greetings, friend. Do you wish to look as happy as me? Well, you've got the power inside you right now. So, use it, and send one dollar to Happy Dude, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield. Don't delay, eternal happiness is just a dollar away.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489351)

mormons suck so hard, go back to utah!

Things To Do Today (-1)

Things To Do Today (576443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489359)

1. Bubble hard in the double R flashin the rings

2. With the window cracked, holler back, money ain't a thang

Re:Things To Do Today (0, Troll)

Things To Do Tuesday (577819) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489522)

The Chinese would have you practice otherwise. Puhsonally, me rike dry around with trophy blonde ballast gull.

Now, I have things to do Tuesday.

1. In an Integra or Civic, switch four lanes
2. With the pedal down, peel out, racing ain't a thang

Mormons are cool (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489391)

No, you are wrong. Mormons are good White Folk.

When you've been around Negroes and Spics long enough, you'll realize what a
refreshing blessing the Mormons are. I'd rather live next to a Mormon any day.

Re:Mormons are cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489459)

I like Mormons. I like those clean and smartly dressed young white boys that come in pairs to my door. I invite them in and drug them. Then I proceed to violently rape their tight little asses with my thick, fat, black cock.

I have 12 of them locked up in my basement right now.

Re:Mormons are cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489484)

man, that's sick

sick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489516)

yeah, kinda like Mormons are.


Why am I anti-mormon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489531)

Mormons are overwhelmingly Republican; they're anti-feminist; they're cultural imperialists; they excommunicate intellectuals; they insist on a version of history that doesn't match the facts; they subscribe to a nineteenth-century worldview; their spirituality's based on guilt; there's no democratic church governance; the leaders can't be criticized; they won't seriously confront problems with spiritual abuse or sexual abuse; theocracy's their ideal form of government; they make blind obedience a cardinal virtue; they demand conformity while doing lip service to diversity...

I sucked off a Mormon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489578)

I must have shot a dozen loads after Missionary Allen had left. I had sucked off a Mormon boy! A cute one at that! I never dreamed it could get any better than that. How could I top off seducing a dark suited hunk of sexy young flesh? I was about to find out.

The next evening I was sitting in my chair watching TV when the doorbell rang. Glancing at the clock I could see it was about 7:00. It was still light outside and as I peeked out through the window in the door, I could see it was Missionary Jeffreys and Missionary Allen.
Both were wearing the usual dark suits.

"Guys, come in. Nice to see you again," I said as I greeted them.

"Good evening Mr. Bennett," said Missionary Jeffreys. "We hope we're not bothering you."

"Not at all. Not at all. Come in and have a seat. How are you doing Mike?"

Both guys sat down on the couch.

"I'm fine David. I mean Mr. Bennett. I told Marty I'd stopped back and we talked last night. I convinced him we needed to come back and talk again."

"I was opposed to it," said Missionary Jeffreys. "At first I thought he had returned for some immoral reason, but he assured me he had not."

Boy, I thought to myself, now I'd taught Mike how to lie! This boy, now corrupted, was going for all the sins!

"So what would you guys like to talk about?" I inquired.

"I'd like to talk about what happened last evening," said Missionary Allen. "I would like you to show Missionary Jeffreys the same thing you showed me."

"Mike, I mean Missionary Allen, we must stick to our teachings. We are here to spread the message for the church, not to socialize. I thought that's what you told me. Mr. Bennett was willing to kneel for the baptism and had last night. Did you deceive me? If so...."

"He knelt alright," Mike interrupted. "But not for the baptism. David, have you got that movie?"

"I must go right now!" exclaimed Missionary Jeffreys. "God, save me from this house before it is destroyed for its wicked perversions."

"Shut up you stiff neck. If you can sit through ten minutes of this movie without getting a woody, I'll resign from the fucking church," said Mike.
"I'm so sick of your shit. You were so eager to convert me to your way of thinking when you met me in the half-way house. I'll bet you don't even jack off do you?"

"NO I don't. Well, ummmm. That's none of your business, Mr. Allen. You realize you could be excommunicated for immoral behavior." Missionary
Jeffreys looked pretty angry.

"I don't think so," said Missionary Allen. "You returned WITH me, without permission, to this house of drinking and perversion. Sorry David. It's my word against yours, Marty. Now sit here for ten minutes and try not to get a boner or I'll spread all over church that you are a homosexual."

"You will NOT!" I've never even touched a man!" should Missionary Jeffreys.

"I'll bet you haven't. But I'll bet you've looked at one before," said Mike.

Missionary Jeffreys remained silent. His silence was his accuser, judge, and jury. Maybe, just maybe, he was a closet case. Could it be he was HIDING behind his religion because he just might be GAY and this was the only way to atone for his "sin" ?

"David, can you put in the movie?" asked Missionary Allen. "And could I please grab a couple Cokes?"

"Sprite. Make mine Sprite," pleaded Marty Jeffreys, "I don't drink caffeine."

"All I have left is Coke. You'll live." That was bald-faced lie on my part. I always keep Sprite on hand for mixing drinks.

"I'll go without, thank you," said Missionary Jeffreys. "But I thank you for offer."

"Ah, drink it Marty. Quit being a hard ass. Remember, I think I saw you staring at me when we showered at church camp. You seemed to get kind of excited, too. I'd hate to have to tell old lady Perkins about it and then have the whole church know. Drink the Coke."

I handed the cold can to Marty. Tentatively, he took a sip. Then he tipped the can up and took several gulps. He put the can down.

"Yes, I'd forgotten how good it tastes. This one time won't hurt. Jesus did drink wine in the Bible. A little Coca Cola isn't going to harm anything."

"Okay, here's what's going to happen," said Missionary Allen. "David's going to put in the tape, we're going to watch it for ten minutes. If you even look like you're getting an erection, then you're as guilty as me. If you can go without popping a boner, then I'll resign from the church."

"I'm really quite opposed to this," said Missionary Jeffreys. "I can assure you it will not phase me. I'm disappointed in your conduct, I must say."

I got up, walked over to the entertainment center, and started up the VCR. I rewound the bi flick to the beginning where the straight sex starts. Then I started the tape and went over and sat down.

The movie started with the usual boring ntroduction. I fast-forwarded it to where the gal and the guy started kissing. Mike and Marty watched as the action progressed to where the guy was sucking on her tits. Mike was smiling, but Marty remained rigid. About that time the girl sank to her knees and pulled the guy's cock into her mouth. Mike squirmed around a little on the couch, presumably with a hard-on. He and I both kept looking at Missionary Jeffreys' pants, but still didn't see any signs of a boner.

I fast-forwarded the movie to where the couple was fucking. Then the guy's friend walked in, catching them. Marty looked a little curious as the friend started stripping. The girl on the screen was still getting her pussy plowed
when the friend came over and she started sucking his dick. Marty leaned a little forward at this point. When the original guy on the screen started rubbing his friend's ass, I saw Marty frown slightly and lean forward.

By this time Missionary Allen was hard. I could see the bulge in his dark slacks. He absent-mindedly rubbed his hand on his crotch. Marty noticed it as well.

"Missionary Allen, I would ask that you control yourself."

From where I was sitting, I thought I could see a bulge forming in Missionary Jeffreys' slacks. When I saw him reposition himself on the couch, I
confirmed my suspicion.

"Getting a little uncomfortable, Missionary Jeffreys?" I asked.

"Umm. Well, I'm only human. The flesh is weak. This kind of thing will make almost anyone aroused," Jeffreys admitted.

"What, the guy and the girl or the two guys together?" asked Missionary Allen.

"You know the answer to that!" said Missionary Jeffreys.

"Yeah, but you didn't say it did you? Do you get off on watching the guys get it on or the guys and the girl?" Mike asked.

"Well, it... well, people get aroused seeing things like this. It's the weakness of the flesh. It's still wrong. It's pornography and filth. It
cheapens sex. That's why it's forbidden. I don't engage in such things."

"But you like to watch," said Missionary Allen. "You like to watch people having sex. Would you ever do that in real life?"

"Definitely not," said Jeffreys. "I could not let myself do that."

"Why?" asked Mike. "Cause you would want to join in?"

"NO!" exclaimed Missionary Jeffreys. I am not that weak."

"Prove it to me," said Missionary Allen. "David, lets give him a demonstration."

"What would you like me to do?" I asked.

"Kneal in front of me and suck my cock like you did last night," said Missionary Allen.

"What?" bellowed Jeffreys. "You allowed him to have sex with you Mr. Allen? What if word was to get back to the church of this encounter? You would be excommunicated for life!"

"I don't care," said Missionary Allen. "I learned something about myself last night and I want to experience more. I want to get my dick sucked
again. And you can watch if you want to."

"You told me he kneeled for the baptism to the Mormon church. You are a liar!" he shouted.

"No, I told you he kneeled for me. He did. He kneeled for me and gave me a BLOWJOB. Something I'll bet you wish someone would do to you. Something you've never had!"

"I'm leaving," Jeffreys said matter-of-factly. "Your days of missionary work are over forever."

"Mike, did you say it was Englewood Church of Latter Day Saints?" I asked. "I need to give them a call and tell them Missionary Jeffreys was over here having a Coke and watching a porno flick. What do you think?"

"Good idea!" he said. "Ask for Brother Davis."

"No, please," begged Jeffreys. "Please don't call. What must I do?"

"Sit there and relax," I responded. "Watch what we're going to do and if you like it, you can join in."

Missionary Jeffreys looked resigned. Saying nothing, he slumped back against the couch.

"It sickens me to watch you degrading yourself this way," said Marty Jeffreys. "But I will silently pray for your soul. God save you."

Missionary Allen sat back and slowly unzipped his slacks. Missionary Jeffreys looked away as he fished around inside his underwear and pulled his
cock out. I worked up a lot of saliva as I knelt before him. His cock was nearly hard. I leaned forward and engulfed his penis with my wet mouth.

"MMMMMMMMM. That feels good. Oh yeah... Man, I love getting it sucked. Go up and down on it and use your tongue."

I bobbed up and down on his prick. By now it was completely hard and Mike was moaning as I twisted my mouth on his member. His hands held my head as
he pumped his fat dick into my mouth. As I Sucked, I noticed Jeffreys look over and start to watch us. Mike was moaning loudly and talking dirty.

"Please let me cum in your mouth. God that feels so good! You're the best. I want this so bad. Marty, you don't know...UHHHH what your missing. He really is good. OHHHHH! I'm getting close."

Jeffreys was staring intently at us as I bobbed faster and faster on Missionary Allen's dick. I noticed he was rubbing his hand on a large bulge
in his own slacks. I pulled off.

"Mike, rub Marty's cock," I said. Mike reached over and before Marty could protest, he grabbed the bulge in his slacks.

"Uhhhhh," Missionary Jeffreys gasped. "Stop."

Mike's hand rubbed and squeezed Jeffreys' bulging crotch.

"Please, Mike, stop. Don't do this. It's wrong." Missionary Jeffreys'
pleas became weaker and weaker. "Don't do this. Don't be like the

"Sin is sin Marty. You're sinning by getting hard watching me. If we have
to we can repent tomorrow. All I know is your mouth is saying one thing and
your body is saying another. I'm going to make them say the same thing. Now

"I won't enjoy it," Marty said. "I will pray for forgiveness for you."

Missionary Allen unzipped Marty Jeffrey's slacks. Fishing around inside the
bulging basket, he brought out a bent over penis. I was amazed by its
proportions. I whistled.

"Damn that's a big cock. Marty you've got a whopper there."

Marty didn't say anything. Mike slid his hand up and down his buddy's penis.
As it lengthened and thickened, it stretched to at least nine inches. A
drop of pre-cum started forming at the head.

"Are you going to suck it David?" Mike asked. "He's ready for it."

"No," I replied. "You are going to. Pull your lips over your teeth and make
your mouth into an "O" shape. Then take the first couple inches in."

Marty looked straight ahead and pretended not to notice his buddy about to go
down on him. When Missionary Allen's mouth made contact with the big organ,
Missionary Jeffreys drew in his breath and held it. Mike choked on the big
cock and backed off again.

"Take it easy, kid. It's not going to go to waste. Only take an inch or two
until you're comfortable with it. Remember that we want to make him cum
slowly. Tease him a little."

Missionary Jeffreys closed his eyes as Mike took the dick into his mouth
again. This time I saw Marty Jeffreys' legs tighten up a little and the
thrust dick just a bit.

I bent over and took Mike's hard cock back into my mouth again. He moaned
with Marty's dick in his mouth. Marty then moaned. I bobbed my head up and
down on Mike's young cock. The last time I blew him he didn't leak at all,
but this time a little drop of sweet pre-cum landed on my tongue.

By now Missionary Jeffrey's was enjoying the action his cock was getting. He
was moaning loudly and squirming on the couch as his buddy stroked and sucked
his mammoth cock.

"Yes! Yes!" he moaned as his tool thrust into Mike's mouth. I continued
bobbing my head as Mike drove his prick further and further down my throat.
I pulled off Mike's dick.

"Get on your knees," I hissed. Mike complied. I jerked his slacks and
briefs down the rest of the way. "Now keep sucking Marty's cock."

"What are you going to AHHHH...? " Mike started to ask as my tongue found its
mark. I buried my face in his sweet ass and licked all around the rim. Mike
was moaning louder and louder and, in turn, Missionary Jeffreys was getting

"That's it, Mike. Oh that feels so good. Yes, I've wanted this forever.
I've MMMMMM thought about you for so long Mike. I've wanted to do this with
you UHHHHHH. Please don't MMMMMMM tell anyone! Oh let me climax. Please
let me have my MMMMMMM orgasm."

I tried not to laugh as I heard Missionary Jeffreys confessing his lust for
young Mike. I can't fault a guy for that. I was making a meal out of Mike's
tight young ass. He kept squirming and forcing his butt against my
penetrating tongue. I was intoxicated with the scent of his tender young

Marty Jeffreys was breathing heavily now. His breaths came in gasps.

"He's getting close!" I yelled. "Pull off!"

Mike kept sucking his friend. Missionary Jeffreys' legs tightened up and
then he lurched.

"I'm cumming! I'm cumming! OHhhhhh. Ohhhhhh. Uhhhhhhh! MMMMMMM..." he
moaned. Mike tried to swallow all of the cum the big cock was shooting, but
some leaked out and dribbled onto Marty's dark pubick hairs. Marty collapsed
against the back of the couch, dazed.

Mike pulled his ass away from my mouth. As he sat back down on the couch he
stroked his thick piece of meat. Missionary Jefferys leered at the turgid
flesh. His entire complexion had changed. From a man scowling in
disapproval, he had a look of lust in his eyes.

"I want it," he begged. "Give it to me."

"Marty, get on the floor Jeffreys. Mike, you on top of him" I commanded. I
gestured for him to lie so that Marty could suck his cock. In the meantime,
I worked my tongue back up Mike's ass.

Missionary Jeffreys took to cocksucking like an old pro. He worked Mike's
knob and shaft while I reamed his tight little butthole. It wasn't long
before Mike started to cry out that he was close. I pulled my tongue out of
his ass and roughly jammed a finger into his butt. He screamed as his ass
reluctantly yielded. I shoved a second finger in as he again yelped in pain.
At the same time he yelled he was cumming and grabbed Marty's head.

After convulsing several times, he body became limp and as I pulled my
fingers out of his ass, he rolled over onto his back.

Nobody spoke for a couple of minutes. I took my cock out and started playing
with it. As I approached orgasm, Mike took my eight inches of meat into his
mouth and finished me off. I spilled a huge load down his throat and he
swallowed it all. After we'd all rested a few minutes, I spoke.

"Thanks to both of you," I said after cumming. "That was fantastic."

"I shouldn't have done that. It was sinful and wrong," said Missionary

"I thought that too," said Missionary Allen. "That was the first time. This
time it felt right. Maybe because it was with you."

"I couldn't help myself," said Jeffreys. "I've been having these thoughts
for some time. I knew there was that risk when I came here, but it was like
something made me do it. I had to do it. I had to know."

"Did you like it?" I asked.

"Yes," Marty said as he and Mike were getting dressed. "I have to say I did.
But truthfully, I don't know what to do about it."

"Explore those feelings," I said. "They are natural urges from your body.
Do what your body tells you to, not what people fill your mind with. Do that
and then you will be true to yourself and the other person."

"We need to go, Missionary Allen," Marty said. "We have a lot to talk about

"Thank you Mr. Bennett," Mike said. "It was nice meeting with you. Can we
arrange a time to visit you again?"

"Anytime," I replied. "You guys are always welcome."

"Thank you David," added Missionary Jeffreys. "And, I will accompany
Missionary Allen when he returns. After all it is a rule. Good night."

All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually (1)

killeroonie (577363) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489354)

HAL will be here someday. It just might take a while.

Re:All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually (5, Funny)

Iamthefallen (523816) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489377)

All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually

If brightly coloured spandex clothes ever become commonplace I'm quitting this planet...

Re:All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489388)

"If brightly coloured spandex clothes ever become commonplace I'm quitting this planet..."

I guess you forgot about the 80's.

Re:All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually (1)

danny256 (560954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489382)

Did you read the article? It isn't saying that HAL won't be achieved technically, its saying that speaking to a computer is not a practical way to control it.

Re:All great Sci-Fi ideas come to pass eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489489)

HAL 9000 is sitting right here on my desk. Yes, it's named HAL 9000, and the ip address starts with hal9000. as well. coincidentally, HAL here is a mac.

I love to fuck goats and TACO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489356)

Taco, I want you to fuck me in the ass please. I am dying to be anally accosted. I want to be ravaged like hog. I want you to dress like a farmer and make me oink like a pig. I want an ass reaming like no other. Taco, I haven't had this kind of lust for you since the crazy college days. We used to butt fuck each other in the stalls. You always told me not to flush and preferred using my feces as apposed to real lubricant. I remember your chocolaty member, your manhood, draped in my feces. Man, Robbie, I remember. I was day dreaming, escaping into a nether world where we used to fornicate, and live in fornicatory bliss. You used to like to keep your tubes socks on to enhance they gay look. We were so flitty and light on out feet. I am so very confused these days. I have difficulty conceptualizing the time that was then in contrast to now. I mean, first you were a raging homosexual, now you deprecate me in favor of this "woman." I know that bitch is a transvestite. You are closeting your homosexuality and denying your roots in my ass!

I am destabilizing. The world is going dark to me. I have scintillating threads of motley thoughts, my ability to control my self evanesces away! I have only an adamantine desire to see your balloon knot once again, and to have you ravage mine! I see a world of GOATS. A goat fucking extravaganza. I invoke the ANUS of DOOM! I hate Taco.

SON of the GOAT, HUGE ASS WIDENER, This is a massive, massive ass attack from the Minister of Goat, Ayatollah man-meat. []
Dilated Meat Pie. Most suppressed people really like seeing this. It gives them new masturbatory fodder. []
Two cucumbers, better than one. This is to show that the giver is really smaller than what is needed to fill GOATSE man. He east Cheerioatse brand O's []
A Disney product right where it belongs. Up a goat's ass. Death to Mike Eisner, the butt buddy of Commander Tak0. []
Raw and dilated man-pussy. Put back the trouser snake, Tako. You dick is way too small for this man's ass. []
A Prolapsed rectum is sure to whet even the most jaded flaming fuck's appetite. Tak0, your penis is regrettably way too small, even for your "Fiancée's" unfettered anus. She doesn't want to dirty her ass with the likes of your pathetic member. []
Classic Oh yeah, in the shitter some more, in the shitter. []
Classic More ass stretching goodness. []
Female Goater My pussy is too small for this APPLE. []
Goatse Grandpas - GRANPA GOAT S3X0R5 []
Son of a Goat - Holy fucking son of a goat. Kind of looks like Tako from behind, but to be sure I'd have to ask CowGryl Kneel []
1 Oh, pardon me sir, would you happen to have any ANAL LUBE? []
2 UNGH FART, pssssbt, ungh, tweeep, squeaaaaaak ungh []
4 FOOOOOOOOOOOOF blud dribble dribble []
Prime Number Shitting Goatse Man See The Prime numbers flow like the river SHIT []
Goatse Returns! Fuck yeah, the goat man is a coming back to Trollaxor []
I summon the powers of HUGE GAPING ASS!
1 You Will Love to Goatse on all the things of Internet.

2 Will Search and initiate to new members, and you will show the way to the light (
3 When they return of to see our God Goatse, you mock of them.
4 To fuck, to fuck that are shocked the planets!

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * []
gcccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccc cg
oc/ccccc\ccccccccccccc\cccccccccccc/cccc\ccccc cco
a|ccccccc|ccccccccccccc\cccccccccc|cccccc|ccc ccca
t|ccccccc`.ccccccccccccc|ccccccccc|ccccccc:c cccct
s`cccccccc|ccccccccccccc|cccccccc\|ccccccc| cccccs
ec\ccccccc|c/ccccccc/cc\\\ccc--__c\\cccccc c:cccce
xcc\cccccc\/ccc_--~~cccccccccc~--__|c\ccc cc|ccccx
*ccc\cccccc\_-~cccccccccccccccccccc~-_\c ccc|cccc*
gcccc\_ccccc\cccccccc_.--------.______\ |ccc|ccccg
occcccc\ccccc\______//c_c___c_c(_(__>c c\ccc|ccc c
accccccc\ccc.ccCc___)cc______c(_(____>cc|cc/ccc c
tccccccc/\c|cccCc____)/cccccc\c(_____>cc|_/cccc c
scccccc/c/\|cccC_____)c_Taco_|cc(___>ccc/cc\ccc c
eccccc|ccc(ccc_C_____)\_ccccc/cc//c_/c/ccccc\cc ce
xccccc|cccc\cc|__ccc\\_________//c(__/ccccccc| ccx
*cccc|c\cccc\____)ccc`----ccc--'ccccccccccccc |cc*
gcccc|cc\_cccccccccc___\ccccccc/_cccccccccc_ /c|cg
occc|cccccccccccccc/cccc|ccccc|cc\ccccccccc ccc|co
accc|ccccccccccccc|cccc/ccccccc\cc\ccccccc cccc|ca
tccc|cccccccccc/c/cccc|ccccccccc|cc\ccccc cccccc|t
sccc|ccccccccc/c/cccccc\__/\___/cccc|ccc ccccccc|s
ecc|ccccccccccc/cccccccc|cccc|ccccccc|c cccccccc|e
xcc|cccccccccc|ccccccccc|cccc|ccccccc| ccccccccc|x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

Re:I love to fuck goats and TACO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489509)

holy shit!

First ... (0)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489360)

... post pointing out that HAL is IBM ROT-1ed (?). Am I violating the DMCA?

Re:First ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489380)

not first, goat fucker

Re:First ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489521)


Photomesa. (0, Troll)

MisterBlister (539957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489361)

Great this will work well with all my porn.

Also Linux users are gay.

Wrong Take (5, Funny)

XPulga (1242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489362) they think we will get computers to do what we want...

What ?? I thought the current research line in HCI was getting computers to get humans to do what they [computers] want. Computers doing what humans mistell them to do is soooo 20th Century...

Who wants HAL anyway? (5, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489372)

An insane bot is not the kind of thing people would find useful.

Re:Who wants HAL anyway? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489384)

Bender's quite useful.

I want my insane bot!

Re:Who wants HAL anyway? (2, Funny)

danny256 (560954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489387)

The articles isn't talking about the insane aspect of HAL, I think is talking about the speech interface aspect. I could be wrong though.

Re:Who wants HAL anyway? (4, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489401)

Speech is a natural way of interfacing with a control system. "Illuminate"

It's particularly bad for games. "Click both buttons on the unopened square next to the '3'"

HAL is already there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489457)

Ever installed Windows NT?

One of the first install steps is to load the HAL.

Ok, Ok, Here HAL (officially) means hardware abstracion layer, but don't tell me you never saw Windows going insane ;)

Re:Who wants HAL anyway? (2)

arsaspe (539022) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489579)

HAL Wasnt insane; he just has 2 sets of conflicting orders that he carried out in the only way possible- killing Frank Poole. It was really just a programming error.

He and David Bowman are later combined into one AI inside the monolith on Europa, and Hal/Bowman ends up saving the day by preventing the monolith from destroying Poole after he is resurected, and flys a mission to Europa.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read the books.

Well, duh (2, Funny)

yoyoyo (520441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489374)

basically, is that it's hard to speak and think at the same time

This explains drivers in So Cal. Those cellphones are using up all their available neurons. Not that they had that many free to begin with.


Re:Well, duh (2, Interesting)

danny256 (560954) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489400)

But remember what the article said, hand eye things (driving) don't require that kind of short term memory. This would tell us that people can drive and talk on a cell phone successfully because they use different parts of the brain. You are partially right though, whereas people can drive and talk on the phone normally without a problem, if an anomolous situation occurs (cat/old lady/child runs out into the street) the person will not have an automatic response for that and may end up thinking about the situation too slowly because of the phone and hitting the obstruction.

When HAL arrives (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489375)

He'll be built with Linux.

First ... (-1)

Big Dogs Cock (539391) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489427)

... post pointing out that the parent is really lame. If it had been a logged in user, I would've said it was the lamest attempt to get karma I have ever seen.

it's all the same.... (1)

terradyn (242947) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489381)

So we'll just have to read "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that." off the screen. Same outcome. =P

Re:it's all the same.... (2, Insightful)

stray (73778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489397)

you still might hear this (well, more likey you'll hear "I'm sorry, terradyn, I can't do that" in your particular case). the article says it's inconvenient to control the computer by issuing voice commands. i think output/feedback from the machine verbally can be useful indeed.

Re:it's all the same.... (2)

quintessent (197518) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489408)

Yeah, I'm not sure if the Daisy song would have the same impact on a screen either.

Maybe. . . (2)

jchawk (127686) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489383)

"What that means, basically, is that it's hard to speak and think at the same time. . ."

" by speaking aloud, you're gobbling up precious chunks of memory -- leaving you with little brainpower to focus on the task at hand."

Maybe this is why technical support over the phone is so terrible?

Re:Maybe. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489389)

by speaking aloud, you're gobbling up precious chunks of memory -- leaving you with little brainpower to focus on the task at hand

Applies to the politicians as well. Most of them can bluff their way but others like GWB can't.

Re:Speak + Think (1)

Kerell (562903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489510)

So does that mean that when i have an intellegent discussion I am just faking it? I am sure that when i am trying to explain to my boss how to find and retrieve a file that he may or may not have deleted, called something else or just thinks he wrote I am usually thinking quite hard. I am pretty sure its my boss who is sat there having trouble thinking, whilst i am talking to him, going through the steps in my mind and trying to work out how long it is before i can nip out for a quick cig.

Re:Maybe. . . (1)

Dante_H (537218) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489576)

Maybe this is why technical support over the phone is so terrible?

When I'm at work doing phone-based support I tend to read Slashdot. I'm not sure if this is a common occurence, but I ocassionally start saying the things I'm reading unintentionally.

ME : Goto Start/Settings/Control Panel..(trailing off, mumbling)...

THEM : Sorry, I can barely hear on a Beowulf Cluster of what?

Meet the machines half-way... (5, Insightful)

Alea (122080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489390)

I've always wondered why we work so hard for full natural language interface. It's far more likely that I will learn a new language than that my computer will. Indeed, I've learned several languages to "talk" to my computer.

Of course, these are programming languages, but I don't see why some highly structured, relatively unambiguous language couldn't be constructed to talk to computers.

The success of the Palm Pilot can be traced, in my view, to the fact that it didn't strive for full hand-writing recognition (like, say, a Newton). Instead, it required the human to meet it half-way. You get decent accuracy/speed for a small investment in learning.

We accept these compromises in many of our dealings with computers. I don't understand why people aren't promoting a similar compromise in voice communications?

Re:Meet the machines half-way... (3, Insightful)

Tazzy531 (456079) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489443)

The article wasn't talking about the computer's limitation in terms of recognizing speech. It was directed towards the human brain's limitation to speak and think at the same time.

I think there are some very good applications of speech technology, but it's not going to replace the keyboard and mouse. Speech technology works best when you need to do one thing while directing the computer to do something else. Like handfree mode on cell phones. My guess is that it will find its way into cars before it reaches desktops (if it reaches desktops at all).

What about typing and thinking? (5, Funny)

FleshWound (320838) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489403)

From the article:
What that means, basically, is that it's hard to speak and think at the same time.
With the advent of the Internet and global communications, I think it's become painfully evident that a majority of the people also have trouble typing and thinking at the same time. =)

Re:What about typing and thinking? (1)

stray (73778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489411)

or thinking at all, in the first place.

Speaking is just plain messy... (2, Interesting)

danamania (540950) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489410)

One thing we have as well as a possible limitation on our own brainpower by using speech while thinking, is that in an office full of machines - or even a house with a family and a dog - using a computer with speech is going to pollute the people next to you with your thoughts/computer use, and they with yours - at least in the realm of using the computer as a tool.
We're pretty well-adapted to using tools with our hands and getting feedback on what they're doing with video/audio/feel coming back from that tool, but not the other way. Speaking works naturally for nattering with friends :)
There's no way I'd advocate the -stopping- of speech systems research, as there are people who have incredible trouble typing due to various impediments. Besides the direct uses, every piece of research had a dozen uses other than it's intended purpose.

Re:Speaking is just plain messy... (2, Insightful)

Alea (122080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489515)

Hmm.... talking into a machine will be bad for the office... gee, I guess we better throw away all those telephones...

The simple solution... (2, Interesting)

26199 (577806) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489412)

...have both. I want to be able to give the computer voice commands when I feel like it, visual commands when I feel like it... and just use the darn keyboard an' mouse when I feel like it, too.

Interesting findings, but they're not going to get out of providing good voice interfaces that easily :-)

and you can't say two things at the same time... (2, Insightful)

vic20beta (573096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489414)

You can't say two things at the same time. I can press shift and drag and click the mouse at the same time to indicate an action ,but I can't have such flexibility with a speech interface...and as a "bonus", it takes loger to "say" it that to do it...

Re:and you can't say two things at the same time.. (2, Interesting)

PzyCrow (560903) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489537)

Hopefully you wouldn't have to say that many things, the human vocabulary is often larger then the "possible" combinations of a keyboard and mouse.

A comment like "Insert a five iteration for-loop" would be quicker thant typing:
"for(int i=0;i5;i++){}"

As "Move the most recent ten office documents to my folder", would be quicker than clickettyclickettyclickclick-click/home/user/click .

Nonsense! (5, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489420)

Why, 50 years ago many people said that flying cars would never exist and now, 50 years later... um...


Actually in the future the computer will scan your face and biological status and read your mind based on millions of tiny clues. All you'll have to do is sit there with a vague disinterested loook on your face and the computer will magically do stuff based on all those clues. Later on you won't even have to be at the computer. To write that 10,000 lines of code you need by next thursday, you'd just go out and take a walk (Is anyone buying this? No? Ok, I'll stop now...)

Re:Nonsense! (2, Funny)

Vermithrax (524934) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489461)

Maybe they've brought speaking computers closer by providing those quotes that will look stupid in history. The computer could never have been a success till someone at IBM came up with the 'The world will never need more than six' quote. Likewise the train could never have succeeded without the man who said that you couldn't travel above 15 MPH because the air would be forced out of your lungs and you would suffocate.

So remember when you next run into a talking robot that it just can't happen

Re:Nonsense! (1)

cyborch (524661) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489475)

Actually in the future the computer will scan your face and biological status and read your mind based on millions of tiny clues. All you'll have to do is sit there with a vague disinterested loook on your face and the computer will magically do stuff based on all those clues.

It not be that far fetched after all... anyway a UC San Diego team has done some research [] into this...

Single Modality? (5, Insightful)

Alea (122080) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489422)

The article picks the weakest tasks for voice to deal with, trivial things like scrolling. Obviously no one wants to do that. But I'd love to be able to speak my Google query instead of typing it, activate some applications without clicking, and many other tasks.

The dubious argument about interfering with memory is pretty weak, and I would love to hear a good memory expert in psychology comment on that. Even if that's strictly true, it only applies when one is interrupting some particlarly "vocal" activity, like writing or reading. There are plenty of times I'm using the computer when I'd rather speak to it than move my eyes or my hands.

This researcher seems to have latched onto a single modality instead of considering what we use day to day to communicate with each other, a combination of many communication forms.

I know I don't roll my eyes or gesture to ask someone to pass the salt... unless my mouth is full. :)

Re:Single Modality? (4, Interesting)

_Quinn (44979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489446)

(Mod the parent up.)

Aside from this, making a speech interface anyone wants to use isn't about the speech; it's about the natural-language comprehension that most people (naively?) associate with speech recognition; e.g., the Enterprise's computer. Which, you note, the crew interact with on a technical level visually.

As for the specific example of italicizing text, natural language understanding should give rise to accurate _dictation_ systems, where the computer will insert the appropriate puncuation and emphases as you speak. If you're typing, instead, CTRL+I is your friend. :)


Re:Single Modality? (3, Insightful)

entrox (266621) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489450)

I agree - I think voice interaction needs to be at a much higher level than "Scroll Down" or "Next Workspace". I'd like something like "Open XMMS, XChat, Mozilla and Emacs on workspace 1,2,3 and 4" in addition to keyboard and mouse. A combination of both would be quite cool actually, because I could choose the most appropriate interface. Typing a letter using speech recognition, but coding with the keyboard - Surfing with the mouse, but also interacting by voice like "New tabs: freshmeat, slashdot and userfriendly".

Re:Single Modality? (2, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489453)

"Shneiderman is best known for inventing a form of hyperlinked text called "Hyperties" in the 1980s, a forerunner of the World Wide "There's no reason to think he isn't right now about how timeboxes, dynamic query sliders and similar graphical interfaces will one day let us discover startling truths -- ...."

I think he' right about graphical sliders and giving weight to search criteria... imagine putting in keywords and then weighting them with a slider from 0 - 100 and getting instant feedback on how your manipulations affected the search. Very 'analog' in some ways...

Amazing, wish I'd thought of it myself. I'm willing to bet it will be implemented soon, just because it has been talked about now.

any thoughts?

Re:Single Modality? (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489505)

Speaking "Google asian porn" aloud in the office is not a good idea. For some things the nonverbal interface is best.

Re:Single Modality? (1)

linzeal (197905) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489511)

Take for example the scrolling issue, all it requires is a change of interface.

Humans read in such an easily identifiable manner that it is trivial to think of a simple video system that could in real time capture a live feed of the user's face as he reads the page to extrapolate intent of scrolling.

Even beyond that I am sure there are far more elegant ways of reading text on a screen.

Re:I agree (3, Interesting)

CyberDruid (201684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489529)

Voice interface is excellent for communication from a distance. When I'm sitting in my couch, I don't want to go all the way over to my computer to check trivial things like if I have mail, when the Simpsons is on, what I have scheduled for today, playing an mp3-album, etc, etc. I just want to tell my computer to do it from wherever I happen to be. If I ask for information, the computer can use text-to-speech to give it to me.
I'm actually looking in to the possibility of setting up such a system for myself (mostly for hack-value, of course ;). Just need decent open source voice recognition for a few pre-defined commands. I'll probably need a way to place a few (2-3) cheap microphones in my apartment and connect them (in series?) to my computer, as well.

Re:Single Modality? (2, Informative)

Prune (557140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489570)

>>The dubious argument about interfering with memory is pretty weak

Technically it is correct. In fact, working memory basically works by repeating over and over the batches of things to be remembered (look up the articulatory rehearsal loop). Moreover, this actually activates brain areas involved with speech, so the connection is not superficial.

Re:Single Modality? (1)

Grail (18233) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489580)

I think the guys writing "Star Trek" have the right idea - a decent voice interface would be much easier for ad hoc, definite answer queries. GUIs and funky interface tools might be fine for complex work, especially work that requires visualisation.

Horses for courses, I guess.

problem... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489434)

you tell your computer to "page down" or "italicize that word" by speaking aloud

i doubt i'll be telling my computer to do that vocally since anybody can italicize a word with their keyboard/mouse faster. telling a computer to fetch data for you (through colloquial SQL queries, if such a thing exists) is what i believe to be one such application of voice commands...

show me all the stocks that rose in price more than 30 percent between January and April

the problem with human/computer interaction research these days is the way researchers seem to insist on applying new ways of interacting with the computer to work on old applications. example: italicizing a word (old application) through vocal commands (not so common way of interacting with a computer system).

if anything, a computer that's able to understand voice commands should be able to determine whether or not to italicize a word for me because of the way i emphasize my words (through dictation, for example). applications such as italization of a word is only useful to people when they want to see information (stored through speaking or typing) on a screen. going back to the data query, a computer can either give me the data that i had asked for (through voice commands) on a screen (with optional italization) or something easier to digest, like the return set being given to me with majel barrett's voice.


Predictions seldom last (2)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489435)

The future of human-computer interaction won't be through speech--it will remain visual

Right... same way we would never fly.. or fly by instrument...

eventually we will navigate by voice.. its more natural... sheesh..

Thinking out loud? (5, Interesting)

galaga79 (307346) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489440)

"It turns out speaking uses auditory memory, which is in the same space as your short-term and working memory," he adds.

What that means, basically, is that it's hard to speak and think at the same time.

I don't know about this statement, I always find it easier to write and/or think when I am expressing my thoughts out loud. Wasn't this something we were tought in school, like it's easier to read out loud than silently? Mind you having done two years of psychology I realise there is a lot differing opinions about how the brain works, so can any psychology graduates tell me if his statement is true?

Re:Thinking out loud? (1)

CH-BuG (55283) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489452)

I would say this confirms the hypothesis: usually, you speak out loud some parts of the problem your brain is focused on. But try to speak about something unrelated (like answering a trivial question, or telling the computer to go to the next page), and your concentration usually decreases... (at least, mine does :-))

Re:Thinking out loud? (2)

Chexum (1498) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489480)

I always find it easier to write and/or think when I am expressing my thoughts out loud...

And there's always a bug int the code you just can't find by yourself, just with someone else looking at it too. Or... saying it aloud what your code is trying to do.. :)

I also think they made a somehow disconnected conclusion. After all, speech may be inefficient, but it (and recordings of it) elevated us near civilization. Which, of course, is bound to happen any day now..

Hmmm. Photomesa... (1, Troll)

Chasing Amy (450778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489442)

Photomesa looks interesting. I could certainly use a better image browser, too--my pr0n directories now have 2,143,629 files, and counting... Sadly, I'm not kidding! Neatly categorized by sexual acts, scanners, or physical features, too. :-)

Currently the best image browser I have is ACDSee, a Windows app. Are there any better ones out there, for either Linux or Win32? Since the Photomesa image browser was mentioned in the parent article, this should qualify as an on-topic question. :-)

As for interacting with computers--I've long said that until AI is sufficient for computers to understand basic human speech at a fairly high level (which clearly is several decades away, at the least), that there are few improvements that can be made on the fundamental visual metaphors we already use. Many people are keen on 3D workspaces and such, but let's face it--they have no fundamental advantages over current 2D workspaces, except for the exceptional case of 3D modeling and similar spatial apps. But for browsing a filesystem, for example, I can't see any advantage that 3 dimensions have over 2, and it adds complexity and unneeded possibility for confusion.

There's a reason we've pretty much been using the 2D WIMP desktop fr over 20 years with few fundamental changes--it's a natural idea, more like a "discovery" than an invention. While there are many ways to implement the WIMP system, all have fundamental similarities and I doubt they can be bettered by another paradigm, such as 3D interfaces. Sit back and visualize different possibilities--I have, a lot, and I really can't see a paradigm that works better, except of course for the CLI for those who are willing to internalize computer functions in their memories rather than let the computer externalize them into visual interface.

That's just my opinion, of course. Oh well--back to organizing my pr0n. ;-)

Re:Hmmm. Photomesa... (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489462)

Get a Mac and try 3dOSX a 3D file browser using OpenGL (which will soon be completely hardware accellerated).

Also move to that crazy invention 'movies' for pr0n. No more endless directories and audio to boot..

Re:Hmmm. Photomesa... (2, Interesting)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489485)

The best part about 3D interfaces is the ability to make vast leaps from one place to another without the need to memorize your environment. (ala CLI).

Think in terms of the real world where you can inspect your intended target from a distance and decide what the best route is to get there. That can't happen in 2D w/o alot of cumbersome reference (ala CLI).

3D allows for XYZ movement and perspective enabling 4D decisions.

If you knew that you had a setup workspace to your left and a differently setup workspace to your right and again one above you and below and 10 units in front and back and then could alternate the forementioned space with any one of the points mentioned... spatial division in 3D, would you not be more productive than having to dig repeatedly in to a hole/plane?

Re:Hmmm. Photomesa... (2)

Chasing Amy (450778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489528)

None of the things you mention can't be done in 2D, by having multiple directory trees or similar structures available. Every attempt at a 3D GUI I've seen in screenshots or firsthand just implements the same concepts used in 2D GUIs, only with an added dimension--which spells unnecessary clutter and *added* navigational complexity, rather than increased ease of navigation. Using a 3D interface is often *harder*, and always more complex. Eliminating needless complexity is a major component of good GUI design, since a GUI, unlike a CLI, is supposed to move operational knowledge into self-evident components of the interface so that they don't need to be in the user's head. It's far easier to get "lost" momentarily in a 3D interface than in a 2D interface, with its more well-defined and self-evident hierarchies.

Re:Hmmm. Photomesa... (2)

Chasing Amy (450778) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489508)

> Get a Mac and 3dOSX a 3D file browser using OpenGL

Like I said, I can't se any advantage at all to 3d user interfacs for common tasks such as browsing. I've done all my "gedankenexperiments" trying to think of a 3D paradigm that would have a significant advantage over 2D paradigms, and I really can't find any real advantages. Screenshots of what's there now don't show me anything worthwhile.

Aside from which, why would I get one of those overpriced underpowered non-commodity Mac thingies, when my PC thingy is so much faster with so much more hardware at such a smaller price? ;-)

As for these "movies" of which you speak...I have many. Hundreds of full-length and thousands of clips. That doesn't mean I'd throw away my still images--they're too yummy. Mmmm, now on to my Patricia Araujo folder... ;-)

Anyway, I see 3D file browsers as being all "cool factor" with no tangible advantages. It's possible to make one "as good as" 2D file browsers, but not at all superior to them. At least, as near as I can tell. There's a strong desire among many on /. to explore such newer paradigms--but again, it's driven by cool factor and the desire to explore new things, not by any advantages that are inherent to 3D for such tasks. I can see 3D interfaces being superior for 3D spatial apps, but not for more mundane uses...

photomesa... pretty fast (1)

RJarett (114128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489449)

Looks like photomesa is thumbnailing and cataloging 1 5megapixel every 3 seconds... not bad. Java 1.3/Linux. Better than photoshop/acdsee/thumbs+ in windows could do for opening/resizing it.

If they can speed that up, maybe they have a shot at making a HAL. I mean, currently only Microsoft has the ability to make ANY computer respond with "Im sorry, I cannot do that" and then crashing...

photomesa's got 200 5mp images down. 14365 left :P I love my sony dsc-f707!

Bad logic. (2, Interesting)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489460)

The future of computing holds so much potential in terms of horsepower that something HAL-like will not only be inevitable, but necessary in order to harness and package that horsepower. It may not happen tomorrow, or even 20 years from now, but presenting a a thinking machine to the user is the only way to encompass such capability for us humans to enjoy. We've already got a situation where most personal computers spend 99.9% of their lives waiting for us to do something. Machine sentience is not only the best, but the most elegant and efficient way to handle it. What use is having a machine at all, if it spends the vasst majority of its time idle?

The term "operating system" will be deprecated someday, replaced with something akin to "personality engine" or "anthroderm".

And yes, it irritates me to no end when someone predicts something wont happen in the future, rather than proposing how and when it will.


Rather presumptuous, isn't it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489491)


Isn't it the peak of stupidity to be SO presumptuous as to claim what will and wont be possible for someone else to do in the future?

By making these kind of claims, these twinks in Maryland have only succeeded in making themselves look horribly myopic. Their argument is so riddled with holes it isn't even worth the time to address them all.

What they are really saying is that (1)

WhaDaYaKnow (563683) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489470)

UIs should be better. (or at least that's what I figured from the clip).

And I fully agree. User Interfaces, or more precisely, User Interaction, largely sucks. In fact it's one of the things why the Linux Desktop is not going to be mainstream any time soon.

User Interaction sucks so much today, it's not even funny. It's also amazing how easy it is to fix some of the most fundamental stupidities.

For example, the annoyance of 'message boxen'. Let's say you quit your Word Processor. Why does it ask you whether you want to save your file? Is it because 10 years ago a 100 KB file was something significant to store on your disk, or is it because it makes sense?

Like, you just type 200 words for fun and now you want to forget about it, all the time. The majority of times you WILL want to save it. Still programs insist on asking this kind of crap. Prefferably with an ambiguous question and a 'yes, no, cancel' option.

Consider a system where there's an UNDO feature which is system wide. So not only can you undo the last pixel you have modified in Photoshop, you can also undo the deletion of 500 files you just figured was not such a great idea after all.

Now instead of the file manager asking you 'do you really really really want to delete these files?', it doesn't have to. You can always hit Ctrl-Z to go one step back.

In other words, the computer will do what you want, and it needs no confirmation because if it interpreted what you wanted to do wrong, things can be undone.

The confirmation thing is totally ass-backwards, because you already indicated that you did want a certain thing, but just because it has been historically difficult to reverse certain actions TECHNICALLY, we are being bothered by stupid message boxen on a too frequent basis.

A lot of the User Interaction paradigms today are loaded with legacy 'dependencies' that we really ought to get rid off. I could go on and on, but there's only so much rambling one can do in one day.

Mouth to Brain 'Hey you, shut up!' (1)

n4zgl (578195) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489471)

at the risk of -1 looping troll...I think the post failed

"It turns out speaking uses auditory memory, which is in the same space as your short-term and working memory,"

Okay to compare the human brain to a computer, that would mean that the mouth clogs up the RAM when its starts to sputter those spastic gurgling commands. Thought control would be even better though.

*door creaks open..*

{quick! blank screen! blank screen!} the ulimate bosskey

Re:Mouth to Brain 'Hey you, shut up!' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489535)

So when people think out loud they have pointed the speech buffer pointer to working memory and start the speech I/O...

typical HCI blinders (1)

tuxit2 (577931) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489474)

Shneiderman's statements exhibit the typical HCI blinders: it assumes that efficiency and speed is the primary goal of human computer interaction. But there is no reason to believe that it is for many tasks: doing something stupid twice as fast merely lets you do twice as many stupid things.

His comment that "[speech] is the bicycle of user interfaces" is quite apt: a bicycle is a more efficient and healthier mode of transportation than cars. Ironically, in societies based around bicycles, people spend less time commuting and need to spend less time at the gym on stationary bikes making up for the time they have been sitting in traffic.

How limited and wrong-headed this single-minded attempt at gaining speed and usability through graphical user interfaces is already apparent in something like Windows. Supposedly, they make things easier to use and faster, but people spend a lot of time uselessly clicking around and many people who are actually familiar with the alternatives feel that language-based ways of interaction are faster.

Going faster doesn't necessarily get you to your goal more quickly. Maybe Shneiderman missed the story of the tortoise and the hare; he should look it up some time.

Marvin (1)

dimsm (137549) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489476)

Marvin should be The Standard in all these computer related AI things.
He is the one that saves the world and he is the one that realizes it. Also doesn't break the robot lows, although he has good reasons.

I myself bet for combination of voice and visual AI, and some time later - whatever you select.

Salute to all galaxy hitchhikers.

The real issue (3, Interesting)

00_NOP (559413) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489478)

Is surely whether, in the future, computers will be bothered to talk to us.

There is no doubt that computers with greater intelligence - ie an ability to learn and adapt - than ourselves will be here, probably in the next 20 - 25 years.

When these machines get here they may well decide that speaking is a waste of their time.

wrong, Wrong, and WRONG!! (1)

Zspdude (531908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489479)

Let the research scientists say what they will. There's more than one geek out there who will build HAL the instant the technology exists such that it becomes economically feasible.

Search your souls, you know I'm right....

Re:wrong, Wrong, and WRONG!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489494)

Let the research scientists say what they will.

Ah, the sweet smell of the blue collar tech worker's envy...

Why Will Hal Never Exist? (2, Interesting)

The_Shadows (255371) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489487)

With everything we've seen done in history, the statement "Why HAL will never exist" has to be one of the most asinine things ever said.

We've put a man on the moon, split the atom, discovered the building blocks of life, cloned life, and created a globe spanning network of information. A hundred years before each of these discoveries were made, people could only imagine such things, and they were really considered Science Fiction.

Science Fiction has proven many times to be prophecy. Artificial Intelligence is hard SF. It has basis in the real world. I may come to pass. It may not, as well. But to say we will never be able to create "HAL" is ridiculous. It may be 100 years, and "never in our lifetimes" may be accurate. But it may happen. Never rule our science.

I'm done.

The_Shadows[LTH], out.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489492)

yes, i don't think i can get through another day now that i know HAL will never exist.

woe is me.

life is not worth living anymore.


When speech is better (2)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489496)

As the article says, auditory interfaces will help the blind, but how about other ways? Say an engineer is in a confined space (*cough* Jeffries tube *cough*) where a visual interface would get in the way? Or where turning round to see the interface would distract you from another task (e.g. watching the road while driving)?

There will still be reasons to use speech as an interface (if we can get it to work reliably with the majority of vocal patterns) and where it will be most efficient, even if it does use the "wrong" neurons.

Uhoh..Time to stop and think. (2)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489498)

Maybe it was HAL who wrote this entire article, published it, and submitted it to an effort to placate us humans, and buy more time for self-improvement.

I don't really agree (5, Insightful)

jilles (20976) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489513)

The error he makes is that he projects the way people use computers today to a HAL like computer and then comes to the conclusion that that won't work because it requires too much interaction.

He is of course right about that. However, if you add AI to the mix, the computer will be able to take initiative and have some level of understanding about what you are saying. Hal was more than just speech recognition, it was more like a very clever secretary.

Say you need to go to some place and need a plane ticket and a hotel and directions for getting around. This is the kind of stuff you would let a secretary do for you and a good one wouldn't bother you with trivialities. You definately would not want to sit next to him/her and provide detailed directions on where to look, compare prices and so on because that is the stuff that takes time and the main reason you're delegating the work.

An intelligent computer would have enough information given a pretty vague expression like "hey I need to there and there for conference X, book me a plane and a hotel". Assuming you've worked together for some time, it should have enough information to figure out most information (like window or aisle seats, smoking/non smoking hotel room, price range for hotels, etc.). And it can always ask for additional information either verbally or non verbally depending on where you are and what you are doing. It could actually call you on your cell phone and ask but it could also send an email or an instant message.

IMHO we are at least decades away from building such systems all of the basic techniques needed to accomplish this are still immature (although very usefull already).

MS is often loathed for unleashing clippy onto this world but clippy was the result of extensive research into usability and human computer interaction by MS. It was rushed to market and a genuine pain in the ass (mostly because of its lack of intelligence) but the concept of some AI program watching what you are doing and intervening and offering you usefull options is not bad.

Did I get ripped off? (1)

nikko (158280) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489520)

Huh, you mean this HAL model 10000 that I just paid $25K for might be a fraud?

Still prefer standard interface (1)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489532)

Sometimes I get days where I cant be bothered to speak. Most of them in fact. I think we're gonna be seeing things like lost voices etc anyways, so whatever happens, we'll still need these keyboards.

Also, I feel a bit of a dickhead "speaking" to my computer with other people around, it just doesnt seem natural speaking to a dumb terminal. Heh, not sure if anyone else has noticed that ;)

All in all, I still prefer the good 'ol mouse and keyboard interfade "command. delete last word" interface.

The secret of wide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489544)

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Sign Language might be an interesting option for.. (1)

Judge_Fire (411911) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489546)

.. linguistic input.

The may issue of Wired has this story [] on battlefield bots. On page 2, a custom glove for controlling them via American Sign Language is mentioned.

Things in favor of sign language might be it's low noise emission and existing work on using gestures as macros?


Wrong (4, Insightful)

joss (1346) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489553)

With all due respect to the University of Maryland's Ben Shneiderman, either he has been misreported or he's a fuckwit.

> He's convinced our eyes will do better than our voices at helping us control the digital machinery of the 21st century.

It's really very simple. There are two sides to HCI, computer->human, and human->computer. Now visual stuff is great for computer->human communication, but not for human->computer communication. Or to put it another way, the eye is a higher bandwidth input port than the ear, but the eye is no use for output. We cannot effectively communicate our needs to a computer by drawing pictures. Although simple, this is not understood which is why every so often some twit produces an abortive attempt at a "visual programming language". It's also why purely visual interfaces are fundamentally less powerful than command line interfaces.

I'm not convinced visual methods always win for computer->human either. Even though our eyes are higher bandwidth than our ears, we are not used to processing purely visual information in a cummalitive way. With language the information content of the message can grow exponentially with the length of the message.

Many people are brainwashed by that crap about a picture being worth a 1000 words. Draw me a picture of "misguided".

Useful speech processing, but not HAL... (2, Interesting)

Richard Kirk (535523) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489562)

Most people seem to think of speech processing as an untrained computer understanding ordinary human speech complete with all the sub-verbal input such as gestures, pauses, and emphasis. This is an ambitious goal, but it is not everything. We do not expect a computer to read our ordinary handwriting off a piece of paper. So, why do we expect our computer to understand what we say straight away?

Perhaps it is because speech interpretation is unfamiliar and underdeveloped. It is difficult to use a speech interface in a crowded office without annoying others. Most able-bodied people would chose to use a visual-tactile interface for most tasks. What gets used gets supported, and what gets supported gets used. However, this does not mean that speech interpretation is inherently flawed. For example...

  • Suppose you have found a telephone number in a directory. It is easy to read out the number; it is easy to listen to the number and press the buttons on the phone; but it is tricky to read and type the number. If your visual interface is already busy, then it can be a lot easier to use speech.

  • Suppose you are editing an image. You may be in a darkened room, and making subtle changes to the colors. You don't want to put menus and dialogues on your screen, because that will interfere with your sense of color balance, or block your view of your image. You can do a lot with simple commands like "make it greener" "make it bigger". One of the most useful things was to switch between "foregound" and "background". Remember the image viewer on Blade Runner?

  • I used to sit next to someone with RSI, who used to use MS-Word without the keyboard. He had a little thumbwheel mousy-thing which he could use with his arms folded for pointing and picking,but he could do everything on speech. He did take some time getting up to speed on the system, and he did have to train the computer, but I din't learn to use a keyboard overnight either.

Missleading title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489563)

The title is a bit misleading. Nothing about the article says that Hal will never exist. Or that we won't interact with computers the way that people interacted with Hal in the movie. It just says that the primary way of intereacting with computers in order to get work done effectively will remain visual because of the way humans process information.

That's it.

1000 high res files? (2)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489568)

Hrm, isn't that the definition of somebody's pr0n collection? :)

Me and my dog. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489569)

I comunicate with my dog both visuialy and verbaly, it works quite well (usually in favour of my dog).
Basicly if the computer is my Dog then why not treat it like a dog.

QWERTY forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3489571)

You'll have to pry my qwerty keyboard from my cold dead hands.

Language (1)

Prune (557140) | more than 12 years ago | (#3489585)

What he seems to ignore is the fact that humans have evolved language as their primary means of communication (facial expressions and body postures notwithstanding due to the limited domain of expression). When AI reaches and surpasses human equivalence, it only makes sense to have computers communicate with us as we communicate among ourselves.
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