Multimodal interface research: a science without borders

Sharon Oviatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Multimodal research represents "Science without Borders" because it requires combining expertise from different component technologies, academic disciplines, and cultural/international perspectives. It also is rapidly erasing borders as it promotes the increased accessibility of computing for diverse and non-specialist users, and for field and mobile usage environments. This paper reviews two studies that highlight recent advances within the field. It also draws parallels between the multimodal areas of speech/pen and speech/lip movement research. Finally, it indicates new research challenges that will require additional bold "border crossings" in the near future. In the medical community, there is an international group called Physicians without Borders that many of you undoubtedly are familiar with (URL: Physicians without Borders//Medecins sans Frontiers is an organization of volunteer medical personnel who respond to medical needs and emergencies around the world, and who frequently "cross borders" to get where they're going. Personally, I have always viewed them as an inspiration, in part because I like the idea of crossing borders to get where you need to go. Maybe it's just the intrigue or element of risk, but I'd like to entertain the possibility that there's something more substantial about crossing borders that should appeal to us. Apart from crossing national borders, which we all have just done to arrive here in Beijing for this new millennium meeting of ICSLP'2000, there also is the challenge of striving to cross intellectual borders when necessary to achieve rapid scientific progress. To most of us, the advantages of scientific crossfertilization and teamwork are abundantly clear, when accomplished with the right spirit. Multidisciplinary research that involves combining and shifting among very different perspectives can generate a fast-paced and creative style of research, as well as providing an antidote to intellectual insularity and parochialism. One might argue that the very existence of multimodal research, along with the advantages and opportunities that it represents, has been at least a small triumph of intellectual cross-fertilization.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2000
Place of PublicationGraz Austria
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association (ISCA)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)7801501144, 9787801501141
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2000 - Beijing, China
Duration: 16 Oct 200020 Oct 2000


Conference6th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing, ICSLP 2000

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