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Old 07 May 2015, 08:09 PM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
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Icon07 Lip-reading technology


In 2006, an incredible story emerged that a man named Frank Huber had
developed 'ALR' (Automated Lip Reading) technology that enabled him to
harvest Hitler's conversation from a silent home movie taken by Eva Braun:

This seems to be a simply incredible claim. Firstly, even
speech-recognition technology, commonplace today, was struggling in 2006,
while lip-reading poses far greater challenges -- per this MIT article of

. . which makes no mention at all of Huber or ALR. And in fact one
googles in vain for further sources that don't just cite the telegraph
piece. Same on Wikipedia's "Automated Lip Reading" page.

With a more skeptical stance, some of the things the Telegraph piece
quotes Hitler as saying seem, well . . . fanciful at best? "I understand
you didn't like the movie last night," he says. "I know what you want. You
want Gone with the Wind." -- sounds more like a Mel Brooks Hitler to me.

I have not viewed the PBS segment devoted to this topic, but I suspect
these "History Detectives" may suck at their job:
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Old 20 May 2015, 09:49 PM
Saitaina Saitaina is offline
Join Date: 04 December 2014
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 167

I haven't seen this exact segment, but History Detectives has a group of researchers who do the work off screen (like most shows of this nature). Whether they did dilligent research or just ran with what they found, no clue. I'm guessing they went with what made good tv. is Hitler supposed to sound behind 'closed doors' when talking casually with the woman he shares his life with? That quote seems like something a guy would say to his girlfriend while discussing movies. Eva was a romantic, and would have liked Gone With the Wind (wonder what the previous movie was...), so it sounds authentic to me.

As for Automated Lip Reading tech, yes, there are challenges, but there are also people who are experts at it. While I wonder how easy it would be to translate human knowledge to machine, it's been done before. On the other side, if this was available, I think it would have been used for more than just Hitler's home videos and I have a feeling that if anything was used (and it wasn't completely made up), there was a human (expert or not) in the room pretending to be the machine.
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