Unspoken Words Recognition Using EEG Essay Example

Introduction

The idea of human-machine communication has always been of interest to mankind. The recent technological developments prove that the use of specific low-end systems and EEG can allow recognizing unspoken speech and thus make direct communication without actually uttering words possible. In this respect, the impact of personal peculiarities of experiment participants upon EEG unspoken speech recognition is of special interest.

Literature Review

Naturally, scholars have paid considerable attention to the topic of EEG (Electroencephalography) use for unspoken speech recognition. The first attempt to connect brain waves and speech through EEG are made by Suppes et al. (1997; 1998; 1999), who carry out research allowing to draw parallels between brain wave qualities and words, sentences, or simple images processed by brains (pp. 14967; 15863; 14659). The further step in scholarly research on the topic is the classification of EEG signals carried out by Stastny et al. (2000, p. 2), which allows further investigation of the subject. Up to that point, brain signals were considered in the time domain, while Roscher (2001) moves the discussion into the frequency domain and widens the scholarly scope through this idea.

Binsted et al. (2003, p. 2) consider the sub-auditory speech recognition through electromyogram (EMG) and stress the need for additional research in this direction, while Jorgensen et al. (2001, p. 3) support the topic by laboratory research that presents 92% rate of sub-auditory word recognition. The work by Wester (2006) is considered to be a milestone piece in the study of EEG unspoken speech recognition as it confirms the hypothesis that the latter is possible. However, D’Zmura et al. (2009) and Porbadnigk et al. (2009) seemingly manage to prove that Wester’s EEG speech recognition success was based on speech artifacts rather than on recognition of actual words.

Research Relevance

Thus, the literature review reveals that EEG unspoken speech recognition has received considerable scholarly attention, but the point of special interest for the proposed paper, i. e. the effect of personal experiment participant’s peculiarities on recognition rates, seems to be under-considered by scholars. At the same time, when research deals with human beings, such personal peculiarities cannot be ignored. Drawing from this, the relevance of the proposed paper lies in filling in this gap of prior research.

Research Questions

Accordingly, the research questions of the proposed paper are as follows:

  1. Main Research Question: Do personal peculiarities (health conditions, age, sex) of participants of EEG unspoken speech recognition experiments affect the recognition rates?

    1. Sub question 1: How can this effect, if it is present, be identified and researched?
    2. Sub question 2: How can this effect, if it is present, be minimized or eliminated for a more objective picturing of EEG unspoken speech recognition rates?

Methodology

To answer the above questions, the proposed research will use a quantitative methodology. In particular, six steps will be involved:

  1. Collect data on EEG recognition rates obtained by prior scholars;
  2. Select a sample of participants of different health conditions, age groups, and sexes;
  3. Carry out a laboratory experiment using a low-end system and EEG methodology;
  4. Collect and compare results for different groups mentioned;
  5. Contrast the results with prior research data;
  6. Make conclusions and answer research questions.

Conclusion

So, the proposed paper focuses on a relevant point in the topic of EEG unspoken speech recognition with the help of a low-end system. The literature review supports the importance and actuality of the topic, while specific research questions and proper methodology are expected to make the process of research fast and clear.

Works Cited

Binsted, Kim et al. “Sub-Auditory Speech Recognition.” Code IC, NASA Ames Research Center (2003): 1 – 5.

D’Zmura, Michael et al. “Toward EEG Sensing of Imagined Speech” in Jacko, J.A. (Ed.): Human-Computer Interaction, Part I, HCII 2009, LNCS 5610, pp. 40–48. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2009.

Jorgensen, Chuck et al. “Sub Auditory Speech Recognition Based on EMG/EPG Signals.” Computational Sciences Division, NASA Ames Research Center (2003): 1 – 6.

Porbadnigk, Anne et al. “EEG-Based Speech Recognition: Impact of Temporal Effects.” Cognitive Systems Lab 114 (2009): 1 – 6.

Roscher, G. “Real-time Recognition of Noisy Signals – from Signal to Knowledge.” Soft Computing (2001): 1.

Stastny, J. et al. “EEG Signal Classification.” Charles University in Prague (2000): 1 – 5.

Suppes, Patrick et al. “Brain wave recognition of sentences.” National Academy of Sciences 95 (1998): 15861 – 15866.

Suppes, Patrick et al. “Brain wave recognition of words.” National Academy of Sciences 94 (1997): 14965 – 14969.

Suppes, Patrick et al. “Invariance of brain-wave representations of simple visual images and their names.” National Academy of Sciences 96.25 (1999): 14658 – 14663.

Wester, Marek. “Speech Recognition Based On Electroencephalography.” Diplomarbeit (2006), 1 – 83.

Walmart Tactics And Action Plan

Introduction

Walmart is known across the globe for its revolutionization of retail strategy. It has maximized the cost-efficiency of all processes, including logistics, manufacturer relations, distribution, as well as human resources (Reich, 2018). Throughout its history, the company was one of the first to introduce numerous changes that helped streamline the process and lower product costs, such as barcodes and RFID integration (Reich, 2018). However, the company fell behind its competitors in one of the most crucial aspects of store management – human resources. Nowadays, Walmart is known for its poor reputation regarding its waging strategy, low quality of customer relationships, and high turnover rates (McMann, 2019). This essay discusses the necessity of changes in Walmart’s tactical approach regarding suppliers and employees and reviews the actions that were taken and are planned to be made by the company to improve its reputation.

Tactics

Walmart’s strategy allowed it to retain the lowest prices on many products without sacrificing much of its quality. However, it also puts a significant strain on human resources management within the company. Xie and Cooke (2018) state that Walmart “has attracted much criticism/controversy in the United States about its labor standards” (p. 522). According to Neebe (2020), “Walmart employs over two million associates” (p. 67). The quality of interaction between employees and consumers is directly affected by the hierarchical relationships within the company. With such a high number of employees, the company brought various innovations in the managerial process that aim to decrease the costs of operation.

However, Walmart implemented numerous technologies that help the company’s managers to track the efficiency of low-end personnel, masking them under the promise of potential bonuses and promotions based on employee performance (Reich, 2018). Despite these stated intentions, some employees perceive these technologies as tools to discover underperforming staff members and develop strategies that increase the amount of work that an employee can perform in a certain period (Reich, 2018). Moreover, high turnover rates hurt productivity that managers track throughout these devices.

Moreover, the products at Walmart stores have an apparent issue with a visual representation. The requirements for the quality of the packaging of goods from suppliers are set intentionally at the lowest priority in order to reduce prices further (Roberts & Berg, 2012). However, it creates problems with customers’ appeal, as bland and lacking recognized features of products makes them less desirable (Roberts & Berg, 2012). Currently, Walmart has set new requirements for packaging aiming to increase sustainability, but improving packaging format should also be considered for a higher buyer’s appeal.

Action Phase

In order to improve its reputation as an employer, Walmart will need to make significant changes to the management strategy, as well as the training process of its employees. McMann (2019). argues that “if Walmart was to change its corporate strategy from cost leadership to help generate less negative criticism and high turnover rates, it would dramatically alter the foundation” of the company (p. 4). However, by decreasing turnover rates and raising the quality of employee-customer interactions, the company can increase profits by spending less on training programs and by retaining a higher number of customers.

Currently, Walmart focuses solely on sales volumes, however, by taking an in-depth look into human resources management, it can adjust its operating costs by investing in more efficient management. However, the company has acknowledged long-standing issues that adversely impact its social reputation, and has shown readiness to change its disposition towards low-end employees (Neebe, 2020). While there are changes being implemented in regards to employee livelihood conditions, the company still needs to address employee-manager relationships by implementing new policies regarding managers’ professional attitudes and leadership skills.

Employees in the company can help generate value for the products as much as does an optimized supply chain. Neebe (2020) states that “By 2025, Walmart U.S. will have put millions of associates through focused training programs like Walmart Academy to equip them with skills to improve career growth” (p. 68). The company has already launched several employee-oriented programs that aim to affect their attitude positively, and these benefits will be transferred to customers as employees will be more eager to help them.

The company has acknowledged its overly strict set of requirements towards suppliers. Neebe (2020) writes that the company “opened over 600 cases involving allegations of supply chain misconduct” (p. 68). By addressing current rules in order to make them more supplier-friendly, Walmart can benefit from a higher number of suppliers willing to put their products on the shelves of the company’s stores. Moreover, the company’s changing requirements include the need for sustainable packaging, which, in turn, can be perceived as more desirable for customers.

In conclusion, the company is able to generate more value from an increased number of suppliers, as well as decreased turnover rates. Nowadays, showing respect for employees is as important as it is for customers. By improving the working conditions for its employees, Walmart will increase its reputation with customers by changing the staff’s attitude to more positive and friendly. The company has been fixing relationships with its suppliers, and a further improvement in this field can attract more business partners willing to put their products on Walmart’s shelves.

References

McMann, S. (2019). Turnover rate: Walmart. (Honors capstone, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT). Web.

Neebe, K. (2020). Sustainability at Walmart: Success over the Long Haul. Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, 32(2), 64–71.

Reich, A. (2018). Working for respect: Community and conflict at Walmart. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Roberts, B., & Berg, N. (2012). Walmart: Key insights and practical lessons from the world’s largest retailer. New York, NY: Kogan Page Publishers.

Xie, Y., & Cooke, F. L. (2018). Quality and cost? The evolution of Walmart’s business strategy and human resource policies and practices in China and their impact (1996-2017). Human Resource Management, 58, 521-541.

The Egtved Girl: Social Standing And Wealth In The Bronze Age

Introduction

Throughout history, there have been many significant discoveries of human remains. These findings have an incalculable cultural and historical importance for the countries where they were discovered and the world in general. The remains of the people who died thousands of years ago allow contemporary scientists to uncover the facts about their life and customs and traditions of the time. This essay will discuss the female remains found in Denmark, commonly known as the Egtved Girl. The paper will be focused on the social standing of the buried woman, as indicated by her burial manner, grave goods, and travel experience.

Description of the Egtved Girl

The Burial Site and Discovery

The Egtved Girl is the name given to female remains unearthed in Denmark. The remains were found near the village of Egtved, the name of which was eventually given to the female. The burial site was found by the local farmer Peter Platz in 1921 (Felding, 2015). Platz removed a hill from his property to develop the land and use it as a farming plot. Underneath the mound, in its eastern part, the farmer noticed a coffin made from the trunk of an oak tree (National Museum of Denmark, n.d.). Stopping the work on his land, Platz contacted the National Museum in Copenhagen, detailing his discovery (Felding, 2015). The site was attended by the museum’s senior archeologist, Thomas Thomsen, who opened the casket at the site for initial examination and later had it transported to the museum via train (Felding, 2015). In Copenhagen, Thomsen investigated the remains, while the conservators of the museum, Gustav Rosenberg and Julius Raklev, helped preserve the remains (Felding, 2015). The Egtved Girl and her coffin are a part of the permanent exhibit at the museum.

There is little information about the burial site itself available. It is known that the burial mound was located near Egtved, west of the city of Vejle. According to Vejle Museum (2020), the mound was estimated to be approximately 4 meters in height and 22 meters in diameter at the time of the discovery. The original burial hill was destroyed by Platz’s development of the land. However, a replica was built in the original location of the finding (Vejle Museum, 2020). The burial mound is considered to signify “the resting places of the ancient local elites,” pointing to the buried woman’s high social status (Frei et al., 2017, p. 16). A second burial mold with a similar oak coffin was found four meters south of the girls’ grave, but it was not well-preserved (Felding, 2015). The adjacent location of the two burial sites indicates the possible close relationship between her and the second person, as mounds can be considered an ancestral claim to the land. Overall, the burial site helps to uncover the social standing of the Egtved Girl and her husband’s or fiancé’s family.

Description of the Remains and the Coffin

The remains of the Egtved Girl were well-preserved, and their conservation by the National Museum helped maintain them in good condition to the present day. The hair, brain, nails, teeth enamel, and remnants of skin were found in the oak trunk, with the bones believed to have deteriorated due to the acidic conditions of the coffin and soil around it (Frei et al., 2015). The girl’s hair was cut at shoulder length and much shorter at the front (Felding, 2015). The analysis of the teeth enamel showed that she was approximately 16 to 18 years of age when she died (Felding, 2015). As the bones disintegrated over time, the young woman’s cause of death could not be established.

The Egtved Girl’s coffin was made from a hollowed-out trunk of an oak tree. The analysis of the tree shows that the burial happened approximately in 1370 BC (Frei et al., 2015). The casket was lined with a cowhide, with its hair turned towards the body, while the body itself was covered by a woven woolen blanket (Felding, 2015). As per the tradition of the time, the woman was buried with various grave goods. They were placed into a small bark container laid next to her head (Felding, 2015). These possessions included a hairnet, a bronze awl, pieces of wood and moss, heather flowers, and a leaf (Felding, 2015). The container also had cremated human bones placed in it, which were identified to belong to a child aged 5 to 6 years (Frei et al., 2015). The connection between the girl and the child buried with her is unknown, but it is unlikely it was the young woman’s biological child. The child’s remains were also wrapped in a cloth located by her side (Frei et al., 2015). The significance of this dual burial and their relationship is unclear.

Furthermore, one more bark carton was placed near the feet of the woman. It previously contained an alcoholic beverage that was likely consumed during the funeral, indicating the ancient tradition of honoring the life of the deceased with alcohol (Felding, 2015). The girl was wearing a woven shirt and skirt and wrapped clothes instead of shoes (Felding, 2015). She was also buried wearing bronze jewelry, including an earring, bracelets, and a belt plate (Felding, 2015). Considering the economic importance of bronze, the grave goods show that the Egtved Girl was from a wealthy clan or married into one.

The Egtved Girl’s Origins

Although few remains were found, the condition of the teeth, hair, skin, and brain tissue allowed a significant number of analyses to be performed to establish the age of the Egtved Girl and her origins. According to Frei et al. (2015), the strontium isotope analysis of the body’s hard tissues and the soil at the burial site suggests that the young woman was born and raised outside modern-day Denmark. Similarly, the analysis of hairs revealed a predominantly terrestrial diet with long periods without protein endured by the girl (Frei et al., 2015). The strontium isotope signature found in the teeth enamel and the nails indicate that she was possibly born in Germany, close to Black Forest (Frei et al., 2015). The analysis of the clothing also showed a foreign origin, only with pieces of wool placed into a bark container originating in Denmark (Frei et al., 2015). It is assumed that the buried woman often traveled between the two territories during the last years of her life.

The Egtved Girl’s ability to travel long distances during her life indicates that she was of high social status. Bronze was highly valued at the time, but to produce it, copper and tin were required. These materials were imported in Denmark during the Bronze Age. According to Felding (2015), copper found in bronze produced in the country at the time was brought primarily from Britain, Sardinia, the Iberian Peninsula, and the Alp region, close to modern-day Germany. It can be presumed that the young woman was born in a region of Germany rich with copper and her clan was affluent. A trade deal with a tribe near Egtved is possible with the girl being offered as a bride, as inter-clan marriages often occurred to secure trade deals and alliances (Felding, 2015). The Egtved could have been of strategic importance to her family, and her clan had valuable goods to offer as trade.

In addition, the bronze jewelry and high-quality wool found in the coffin indicate the girl’s high social standing. They were placed in the oak trunk as her personal belongings, suggesting that she could obtain bronze goods for herself or receive them as gifts from her clan or a Danish one. The bronze awl set in the coffin also reveals that the girl had a domestic skill or a craft (Felding, 2015). Thus, she either learned to be a housekeeper or could produce various goods, for example, clothes, and trade them for the commodities she needed. Overall, due to her access to bronze and travels between Germany and Denmark, it can be assumed that she was of political importance to her clan.

Conclusion

In summary, the discovery of the Egtved Girl was of great cultural and historical significance to the country of Denmark. The burial revealed a possible trade agreement and alliance between a clan near Egtved and a clan located near the Black Forest in Germany. The young woman’s travels between the two territories indicate she was of political importance in that agreement, most likely, promised as a bride to the Danish clan. How the girl was buried and the grave goods laid in her coffin also suggest the Egtved Girl was of high social standing in her society.

References

Felding, L. (2015). The Egtved Girl: Travel, trade, and alliances in the Bronze Age. Adoranten, 5-20.

Frei, K. M., Villa, C., Jørkov, M. L., Allentoft, M. E., Kaul, F., Ethelberg, P.,… & Lynnerup, N. (2017). A matter of months: High precision migration chronology of a Bronze Age female. PLoS One, 12(6), 1-20.

Frei, K. M., Mannering, U., Kristiansen, K., Allentoft, M. E., Wilson, A. S., Skals, I.,… & Frei, R. (2015). Tracing the dynamic life story of a Bronze Age Female. Scientific reports, 5(1), 1-7.

National Museum of Denmark. (n.d.). The Egtved Girl’s grave. 2020.

Vejle Museum. (2020). The Egtved Girl’s grave. vejlemuseerne.dk. Web.

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