Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Microsoft To Patent Instructional Feedback To User Responses

As reported by Slashdot contributor "timothy", Microsoft has been seeking a patent for early childhood education that focuses around the ability for a system to provide appropriate feedback to an unstructured user response.

More precisely, the Microsoft invention, is a system and method for accepting unstructured input from a user in response to a particular task, and providing instructional feedback based on the accuracy of the user input to the particular task.

If you feel the jargon is trumpling you, and that what you are reading feels like one hundred different software programs you have already used to learn, play or have fun at your computer, you are just having a normal reaction. Breathe deeply, and while keeping in mind that tolerance can be a great virtue, read on.



The abstract of the patent request summarizes:

"A system and method for providing instructional responses to unstructured user input is presented. In operation, a task is presented to a user. In response to the task, the user inputs unstructured input onto a computing device. In response to the input, a determination is made as to whether an instructional response should be presented to the user. If so, the response is presented to the user. Determining whether a response should be made to the user is made according to the accuracy of the user input in regard to the task. The response may be a visual response, and audio response, or an audio/visual response. The invention may be used in a network configuration that permits a teacher to monitor the progress of individual users/students."

I don't know what to add personally, as there is little to say around the issue of patenting the technology features that should allow individuals to learn and improve their understanding of whichever realm of inyerest without having to buy into the Microsoft version of it.

But I am not a lawyer and I don't know what tangible support Microsoft can bring to support its patent request. I am just nausated by the increased use of patents and copyright for the benefit of a few large vested commercial interests, when these would significantly limit the opportunity for other innovative products and ideas, to make their way into the market.

Yes, I understand that business today works around these rules, and Microsoft is only playing its best interests.

But outside of Bill Gates and those who buy into his shares and share the wealth of his empire, what is the benefit that you and I are getting by allowing this use of patents?

Better tools?

A more competitive marketplace?

More innovative ideas?

Reference: via Slashdot [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, November 28 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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