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Towards Automated Sign Language Production: A Pipeline for Creating Inclusive Virtual Humans

Lucas Bernhard; Fabrizio Nunnari; Amelie Unger; Judith Bauerdiek; Christian Dold; Marcel Hauck; Alexander Stricker; Tobias Baur; Alexander Heimerl; Elisabeth André; Melissa Reinecker; Cristina Espa~na-Bonet; Yasser Hamidullah; Stephan Busemann; Patrick Gebhard; Corinna Jäger; Sonja Wecker; Yvonne Kossel; Henrik Müller; Kristoffer Waldow; Arnulph Fuhrmann; Martin Misiak; Dieter Wallach
In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on PErvasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments. International Conference on Pervasive Technologies Related to Assistive Environments (PETRA-2022), New York, NY, USA, PETRA '22, ISBN 9781450396318, Association for Computing Machinery, 2022.


In everyday life, Deaf People face barriers because information is often only available in spoken or written language. Producing sign language videos showing a human interpreter is often not feasible due to the amount of data required or because the information changes frequently. The ongoing AVASAG project addresses this issue by developing a 3D sign language avatar for the automatic translation of texts into sign language for public services. The avatar is trained using recordings of human interpreters translating text into sign language. For this purpose, we create a corpus with video and motion capture data and an annotation scheme that allows for real-time translation and subsequent correction without requiring to correct the animation frames manually. This paper presents the general translation pipeline focusing on innovative points, such as adjusting an existing annotation system to the specific requirements of sign language and making it usable to annotators from the Deaf communities.

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