CopyCat: Leveraging American Sign Language Recognition in Educational Games for Deaf Children
MetadataShow full item record
Deaf children born to hearing parents lack continuous access to language, leading to weaker working memory compared to hearing children and deaf children born to deaf parents. CopyCat is a game where children communicate with the computer via American Sign Language (ASL), and it has been shown to improve language skills and working memory. Previously, CopyCat depended on unscalable hardware such as custom gloves for sign verification, but modern 4K cameras and pose estimators present new opportunities. This thesis focuses on the current version of the CopyCat game using off-the-shelf hardware, as well as the state-of-the-art sign language recognition system we have developed to augment game play. Using Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), user independent word accuracies were 90.6%, 90.5%, and 90.4% for AlphaPose, Kinect, and MediaPipe, respectively. Transformers, a state- of-the-art model in natural language processing, performed 17.0% worse on average. Given these results, we believe our current HMM-based recognizer can be successfully adapted to verify children’s signing while playing CopyCat.