Literacy aside, I think the goal is to give people access to information. How fast it can be processed by the person in irrelevant. Perhaps though information immersion, some literacy would be gained. Like living in a country you do not know the language... you pick a little up.
Good answer Cabe. This type of technology also gives immediate access to the information in question. Even with the infrastructure in place, it would take years for a single person to be literate enough for these topics. In addition, we are also talking about cultures that have a verbal background. In the US, literacy is part of the predominant culture. Most people who are illiterate, recognize the fact that they are missing something. That is not necessarily true in all parts of the world.
Good point, remove the root problem. However, the infrastructure to do so, apparently, is not there. Often in those areas, needs are immediate. I assume if they need help, they would not want to hear "ok, first lesson in literacy..." As opposed to, "a hospital in in this direction..etc"
Voice in an input method not. No one seems to want to use it that often. Take "Dragon Naturally Speaking," it has been around for over a decade. I still do not use it. I feel it is easier to just type, then to robotically talk into my computer.
Perhaps voice recognition is still not there. See any smartphone's voice to text option for that one.
Very appropriate clip, Nancy. It's interesting that the Star Trek writers already foresaw the demise of the keyboard, even back in the days when computer displays used klunky old cathode ray tubes. The computer in that movie clip looks ancient now.
Nancy-- Well said, I agree completely. I can certainly see a great need for the technology in remote and desolate locations such as Cabe described in his post and feel it is definitely a plus relative to those illiterate. I will also have to say that in times past I have been involved with Prison Ministries and found a great percentage of inmates who are functionally illiterate. It always baffles me as to why they do not take advantage of services offered but some are extremely intimidated with the learning process. This technology could certainly help them. Excellent post Cabe
Ungarata, one of the hats I also wear is that I teach ESL (English as a Second Language) and have done so both professionally as a corporate trainer and in church ministries for years. Some of my students have been illiterate or nearly so and in order to function in our community successfully, that need must be addressed. But in remote areas I think we are going back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. I whole-heartedly agree with you that in an ideal world we would address the root problem - but many of these folks are in survival mode which takes up all of their energy. The other problem is that developing this technology is quite admirable, and it can be done remotely. To eradicate illiteracy is also quite admirable, but it would mean having teachers willing to travel to these remote places in order to "teach them to fish." You also need teachers fluent in their language to be able to do so.
You have an excellent thought but I think the logistics are overwhelming...hopefully these kind of improvements such as Voices will allow these folks to move up the pyramid so that they are no longer are just trying to meet physical and safety needs and having the opportunity to learn to read becomes within their reach...so while it may not address the root cause of illiteracy directly, it may be a very important stepping stone towards that goal.
...so does Voices do anything to eradicate the root problem, that of illiteracy? i understand that this immediately helps people by giving them special tools to use different internet services, but on the other hand is it just enabling them to maintain the status quo? let's say that Voices matures to the level that illiterate people can now use every internet service just like a literate person could...what's the incentive to learn to read? it's one less reason to break the cycle; they can now do everything online that a literate person could, so why bother to learn to read? what if Voices mandated that to use it a person had to undergo some amount of tutoring, kind of a pay-as-you-go service, but in the form of having to learn to read while using the service? it would seem that takes a step in the ultimate direction, that is of eradicating illiteracy.
is the goal to give the man the fish and feed him for a day, or teach him to fish and feed him for a lifetime?.
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