Ajit Narayanan: A word game to communicate in any language | Talk Video | TED


While working with kids who have trouble speaking, Ajit Narayanan sketched out a way to think about language in pictures, to relate words and concepts in “maps.” The idea now powers an app that helps nonverbal people communicate, and the big idea behind it, a language concept called FreeSpeech, has exciting potential.

This app is particularly exciting because it adds to the expanding body of tools designed for people with a disability that have spread into common use. In this case, the inventors are looking at expanding Free Speech as a tool for anyone attempting to communicate across a language barrier – a translator for non-verbal people turned into a translator for people of all languages!
I hope that as our society increasingly adopts tools that were originally designed for people with a disability, we’ll also improve our acceptance and understanding of people all over the spectrum of physical and mental ability.


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