Computer scientists at the University College London have developed a new computer program “My Text in Your Writing” that has the ability to replicate your hand writing, no matter how terrible at cursive you are.
The program works by scanning as little as one sentence written by the user and examining consistencies in the writing to create a customized and unique font.
“Up until now, the only way to produce computer-generated text that resembles a specific person’s handwriting would be to use a relevant font,” Dr Oisin Mac Aodha, told Engadget. “The problem with such fonts is that it is often clear that the text has not been penned by hand, which loses the character and personal touch of a handwritten piece of text. What we’ve developed removes this problem and so could be used in a wide variety of commercial and personal circumstances.”
My Text in Your Writing has many uses in day to day life, says its inventors.
“Stroke victims, for example, may be able to formulate letters without the concern of illegibility, or someone sending flowers as a gift could include a handwritten note without even going into the florist,” says UCL’s Dr Tom Haines. “It could also be used in comic books where a piece of handwritten text can be translated into different languages without losing the author’s original style.”
Although there are other options available that produce a similar result, UCL says the says theirs can work seamlessly with things like historical documents, and has already replicated the handwriting of historical figures such as Arthur Conan Doyle and Abraham Lincoln.
The rise in popularity of digital devices put more computing power in a person’s hand than it took NASA to land on the moon. That holds obvious possibilities for education and innovation, but it does have a downside. Kids these days, in seems, don’t know how to sign their own name.
A few years ago, Ontario farmer John Molenaar took his 14 year-old son to apply for a passport and was shocked when he couldn’t produce a signature.
“He started printing his name and I said, ‘No, Lukas — sign your name; you know; write your signature,” said Molenaar. “When I picked myself up off the floor, I told him to print the letters close together so at least they look like writing. But I was absolutely shocked they don’t teach cursive writing any more. He’s going into high school and he can’t write his name.”
Ontario, like many U.S. states, has dropped cursive writing as a mandatory requirement, a development many critics don’t like because they say cursive has been proven to serve as a teaching aid for those with dyslexia and may activate different parts of a child’s brain.
Below: My Text in Your Handwriting