5 Wild IBM Predictions: Computers That Can Smell, Taste And More

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The Sense Of Hearing

Voice recognition isn't exactly a new concept in computing. Existing software, such as Apple's Siri (pictured), can already "hear" what a user is saying and respond accordingly (most of the time, at least).

But by IBM's estimates, computers will eventually do more than just respond to sounds -- they'll be able to analyze and even make predictions based on them. Embedded sensors that can pick up sound patterns and frequency changes will be able to predict, for instance, when a bridge might buckle before it does by "listening" for weaknesses in its structure. IBM said these embedded sensors could also be used to help parents determine the needs of their newborn baby by analyzing the sounds of its cry.

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