Nuance Communications is synonymous with speech technology. The company keeps making headway in the field and acquiring other companies that have technology to further its mission. Last July, Nuance Communications purchased Cognition Technologies. Cognition was known to be a groundbreaking group that was working on transforming computational linguistics, formal semantics, and machine learning so that people can have an intelligent conversation with technology.
“Cognition holds the key to intelligent dialogue that will enable users to communicate with a device as though they were talking to another person. With Cognition you will converse naturally and intelligently with your TV about what to watch next, and converse with your microwave to figure out how to cook dinner.”
Which is probably why Nuance acquired it. Imagine having the TV verbally responding with show suggestions or a washing machine saying a load’s uneven. Are images of The Jetsons floating around in anyone’s head? That might even be too outdated for younger readers. The acquisition still has left Cognition’s Web site up with a few trial demos of its products, but only one still works. Nuance Communications is the place to go now to see what NLP products are available.
Phi Beta Iota: This matters for two reasons. First, among the five billion poor, there are a great many natively smart individuals who are also illiterate — they cannot read or write. Harnessing and nurturing the World Brain demands this kind of technology be pursued as we go forward. The second reason is closer to home: our own children are losing touch with the skills of writing as scholarship and reading as a route to understanding integral complexity.