Re: Universal Translators

James Rogers (
Fri, 08 Nov 1996 12:37:20 -0800

At 04:32 PM 11/7/96 -0800, you wrote:
>>Actually, there are a few cetaceans that have a higher brain mass to body
>>mass ratio that humans. The dolphin is one of them. The dolphin also has a
>>more convoluted brain than humans. They exhibit complex intelligent speech
>>patterns as well.
>How intelligent ARE they?

We can't communicate well enough to tell. Their technological development
has been limited by a lack of hands and fire.

>>I used to work on DSP applications, mostly audio, but occasionally graphics
>>oriented. Visual processing applications almost always require an order of
>>magnitude more processing power than audio ones. I have heard the argument
>>before, but I have a difficult time believing that cetaceans use more of
>>their brain for audio processing than we use for vision. State-of-the-art
>>audio rendering software can run in realtime on a processor capable of less
>>than 200-mips.
>Does this have to do with blowing virtual air though a virtual model to
>produce a sound? I saw on the telivision show "Beyond 2000" a technology
>where they would stick a instrument into a person's throat and map out
>their voice box with a laser and make a 3D model of it. With the 3D model
>they were able to make the person actually sing using the model. When the
>internet VR 'metaverse' comes around in say 5-10 yrs max we will be able to
>create characteristic voices for our avatars. Does anyone know of a link to
>ongoing research about this topic?

This wasn't exactly what I was talking about, but it is related.
This is a little off-topic, so I will send you more info via private email.

>>Also, our hearing is more capable than most people think. I have seen
>>experiments where blind people were able to echo-locate objects with a cross
>>section of 1 square inch in a room using their own voice, and could detect
>>changes in position of 3" at a distance of 15' of objects with a
>>cross-section of 1 square inch. Non-blind people tend to only have a range
>>of 3-7', but everyone possesses the capability. I actually took one of
>>these tests. My effective range was 5-6'. Most people don't know they can
>>do it until they try.
>What evolutionary advantage does this pose?

I am not sure it is an advantage. It is just a capability of human audio
processing. Limited, to be sure, but an interesting sidebar. If it was
really advantageous, more people would be using it.

-James Rogers