Can deep learning help solve lip reading?

Lip reading is a tricky business. Test results vary, but on average, most people recognize just one in 10 words when watching someone’s lips, and the accuracy of self-proclaimed experts tends to vary — there are certainly no lip-reading savants. Now, though, some researchers claim that AI techniques like deep learning could help solve this problem. After all, AI methods that focus on crunching large amounts of data to find common patterns have helped improve audio speech recognition to near-human levels of accuracy, so why can’t the same be done for lip reading? The researchers from the University of Oxford’s AI lab have made a promising — if crucially limited — contribution to the field, creating a new lip-reading program using deep learning. Their software, dubbed LipNet, was able to outperform…

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