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Digital, Volume 1, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 6 articles

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20 pages, 704 KiB  
Article
Can Google Translate Rewire Your L2 English Processing?
Digital 2021, 1(1), 66-85; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010006 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 12463
Abstract
In this article, we address the question of whether exposure to the translated output of MT systems could result in changes in the cognitive processing of English as a second language (L2 English). To answer this question, we first conducted a survey with [...] Read more.
In this article, we address the question of whether exposure to the translated output of MT systems could result in changes in the cognitive processing of English as a second language (L2 English). To answer this question, we first conducted a survey with 90 Brazilian Portuguese L2 English speakers with the aim of understanding how and for what purposes they use web-based MT systems. To investigate whether MT systems are capable of influencing L2 English cognitive processing, we carried out a syntactic priming experiment with 32 Brazilian Portuguese speakers. We wanted to test whether speakers re-use in their subsequent speech in English the same syntactic alternative previously seen in the MT output, when using the popular Google Translate system to translate sentences from Portuguese into English. The results of the survey show that Brazilian Portuguese L2 English speakers use Google Translate as a tool supporting their speech in English as well as a source of English vocabulary learning. The results of the syntactic priming experiment show that exposure to an English syntactic alternative through GT can lead to the re-use of the same syntactic alternative in subsequent speech even if it is not the speaker’s preferred syntactic alternative in English. These findings suggest that GT is being used as a tool for language learning purposes and so is indeed capable of rewiring the processing of L2 English syntax. Full article
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2 pages, 416 KiB  
Editorial
Digital—A New Open Access Journal to Report on Recent IT Advancements and Their Implementations for Interdisciplinary Research
Digital 2021, 1(1), 64-65; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010005 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 3214
Abstract
Many decades back, Computer Science emerged as a new scientific discipline at the crossroads of mathematics, physics and engineering [...] Full article
10 pages, 13514 KiB  
Article
Robustness of Laser Speckles as Unique Traceable Markers of Metal Components
Digital 2021, 1(1), 54-63; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010004 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 2720
Abstract
The traceability of manufactured components is growing in importance with the greater use of digital service solutions offered and with an increased digitalization of manufacturing logistics. In this paper, we investigate the use of image-plane laser speckles as a tool to acquire a [...] Read more.
The traceability of manufactured components is growing in importance with the greater use of digital service solutions offered and with an increased digitalization of manufacturing logistics. In this paper, we investigate the use of image-plane laser speckles as a tool to acquire a unique code from the surface of the component and the ability to use this pattern as a secure component-specific digital fingerprint. Intensity correlation is used as a numerical identifier. Metal sheets of different materials and steel pipes are considered. It is found that laser speckles are robust against surface alterations caused by surface compression and scratching and that the correct pattern reappears from a surface contaminated by oil after cleaning. In this investigation, the detectability is close to 100% for all surfaces considered, with zero false positives. The exception is a heavily oxidized surface wiped by a cotton cloth between recordings. It is further found that the main source for lost detectability is caused by misalignment between the registration and detection geometries where a positive match is lost by a change in angle in the order of 60 mrad. Therefore, as long as the registration and detection systems, respectively, use the same optical arrangement, laser speckles have the ability to serve as unique component identifiers without having to add extra markings or a dedicated sensor to the component. Full article
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20 pages, 5718 KiB  
Article
FPGA Design Integration of a 32-Microelectrodes Low-Latency Spike Detector in a Commercial System for Intracortical Recordings
Digital 2021, 1(1), 34-53; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010003 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4022
Abstract
Numerous experiments require low latencies in the detection and processing of the neural brain activity to be feasible, in the order of a few milliseconds from action to reaction. In this paper, a design for sub-millisecond detection and communication of the spiking activity [...] Read more.
Numerous experiments require low latencies in the detection and processing of the neural brain activity to be feasible, in the order of a few milliseconds from action to reaction. In this paper, a design for sub-millisecond detection and communication of the spiking activity detected by an array of 32 intracortical microelectrodes is presented, exploiting the real-time processing provided by Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The design is embedded in the commercially available RHS stimulation/recording controller from Intan Technologies, that allows recording intracortical signals and performing IntraCortical MicroStimulation (ICMS). The Spike Detector (SD) is based on the Smoothed Nonlinear Energy Operator (SNEO) and includes a novel approach to estimate an RMS-based firing-rate-independent threshold, that can be tuned to fine detect both the single Action Potential (AP) and Multi Unit Activity (MUA). A low-latency SD together with the ICMS capability, creates a powerful tool for Brain-Computer-Interface (BCI) closed-loop experiments relying on the neuronal activity-dependent stimulation. The design also includes: A third order Butterworth high-pass IIR filter and a Savitzky-Golay polynomial fitting; a privileged fast USB connection to stream the detected spikes to a host computer and a sub-milliseconds latency Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter (UART) protocol communication to send detections and receive ICMS triggers. The source code and the instruction of the project can be found on GitHub. Full article
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16 pages, 2728 KiB  
Review
A Review of the Practical Applications of Pedagogic Conversational Agents to Be Used in School and University Classrooms
Digital 2021, 1(1), 18-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010002 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4734
Abstract
Pedagogic Conversational Agents (PCAs) can be defined as autonomous characters that cohabit learning environments with students to create rich learning interactions. Currently, there are many agents reported in the literature of this fast-evolving field. In this paper, several designs of PCAs used as [...] Read more.
Pedagogic Conversational Agents (PCAs) can be defined as autonomous characters that cohabit learning environments with students to create rich learning interactions. Currently, there are many agents reported in the literature of this fast-evolving field. In this paper, several designs of PCAs used as instructors, students, or companions are reviewed using a taxonomy to analyze the possibilities that PCAs can bring into the classrooms. Finally, a discussion as to whether this technology could become the future of education depending on the design trends identified is open for any educational technology practitioner, researcher, teacher, or manager involved in 21st century education. Full article
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17 pages, 747 KiB  
Article
Improving Generalized Discrete Fourier Transform (GDFT) Filter Banks with Low-Complexity and Reconfigurable Hybrid Algorithm
Digital 2021, 1(1), 1-17; https://doi.org/10.3390/digital1010001 - 18 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3573
Abstract
With ever-increasing wireless network demands, low-complexity reconfigurable filter design is expected to continue to require research attention. Extracting and reconfiguring channels of choice from multi-standard receivers using a generalized discrete Fourier transform filter bank (GDFT-FB) is computationally intensive. In this work, a lower [...] Read more.
With ever-increasing wireless network demands, low-complexity reconfigurable filter design is expected to continue to require research attention. Extracting and reconfiguring channels of choice from multi-standard receivers using a generalized discrete Fourier transform filter bank (GDFT-FB) is computationally intensive. In this work, a lower compexity algorithm is written for this transform. The design employs two different approaches: hybridization of the generalized discrete Fourier transform filter bank with frequency response masking and coefficient decimation method 1; and the improvement and implementation of the hybrid generalized discrete Fourier transform using a parallel distributed arithmetic-based residual number system (PDA-RNS) filter. The design is evaluated using MATLAB 2020a. Synthesis of area, resource utilization, delay, and power consumption was done on a Quartus 11 Altera 90 using the very high-speed integrated circuits (VHSIC) hardware description language. During MATLAB simulations, the proposed HGDFT algorithm attained a 66% reduction, in terms of number of multipliers, compared with existing algorithms. From co-simulation on the Quartus 11 Altera 90, optimization of the filter with PDA-RNS resulted in a 77% reduction in the number of occupied lookup table (LUT) slices, an 83% reduction in power consumption, and an 11% reduction in execution time, when compared with existing methods. Full article
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