The legends and current elites of AIML and Turing AI (not necessarily disjoint groups) met for their yearly gathering at Seed Philly, a Philadelphia tech startup incubator, located in the heart of Center City.
The Chatbots 3.3 conference was a fast flowing event with exciting flash-talk style presentations, always followed by Q&A segments. The amazing speaker lineup included several Loebner Prize winners, AIML Engine developers, VCs, Psychiatrists, Artificial Intelligence researcher, and best-selling authors.
Dr. Richard Wallace
Dr. Richard Wallace, Loebner Prize Winner 2000, 2001, 2004 and father of AIML, talked about the new AIML 2.0 Specification that focuses much on making AIML more succinct, while maintaining its simplicity. He stated that it currently took about 10,000 AIML categories to create a believable character. ALICE for instance has about 100,000 categories and the PROFESSOR, a bot with one of the largest AIML knowledge bases, has about 580,000 AIML categories. Writing that many categories is not only very time consuming (experienced AIML authors may be able to write one category per minute) but also requires a memory capacity, not available on many embedded and mobile devices. AIML 2.0 therefore tries to make AIML more efficient, allowing the creation of a believable character with as little as 1/6 of the categories needed before.
Tomcat 7 is the first Apache Tomcat release to support the Servlet 3.0, JSP 2.2, and EL 2.2 specifications. Please note that Tomcat 7 requires Java 1.6 or better so we start with installing a recent version of Oracle’s JRE.
Install Oracle JRE 7 on Debian Linux
To install Oracle’s Java Runtime with apt-get, we first need to entend the list of apt-get’s sources. Once that is done, an java-installer will actually install the Java SE Runtime Environment. Here are the steps to follow:
When listing to the radio or a podcast, while driving to work, I don’t think I imagine how the person I’m listing to, looks like. Still, if later, I happen to see them for the first time, in a picture or video, I often find myself surprised.
A verbally responding mobile application has many obvious advantages. For instance, users don’t have to decipher tiny fonts on small displays, in fact, they don’t have to look at the display at all. Just like colors and typography contribute considerably to the look and feel of an application, so does the voice quality for a voice enabled mobile application.
There are at least three different approaches to synthesize text.
There might be a Text-To-Speech module built into the OS, or a separately installed Text-o-Speech engines can plug-in to the OS’s Text-To-Speech module.
Secondly, instead of requiring a separate install, a synthesizer and voices can be packaged and shipped with the application.
Lastly, a web-service can be used, to synthesize text. The advantage of this, would be a more predictable and consistent voice quality, comparatively independent from the hardware and operation system used on the mobile client.
While Python comes pre-installed on OS X, Apple doesn’t do a good job on keeping the Python runtime environment up to date. Currently, on Mac OS X 10.7.4 “Lion”, entering
python -V returns
Python 2.7.1. Even worse, Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” is still on a Python 2.6 release.
While the latest Python releases are always available on http://www.python.org, updating a Mac isn’t a simple, straight forward process.
Follow along and update your Mac to Python 2.7.3, or 3.3.0 or whatever the newest 2.x and 3.x release might be, when you read this. To update your Mac to something like Python 2.7.3, I assume that
- your Mac-User account is setup as an “Administrator” account.
- your Mac already has this folder: /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/
To read about how to upgrade to Python 3.3, jump to the very bottom of this post.
ETrade provides a great mobile app experience on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry. I think it’s almost expected that the feature-set provided by the dedicated native mobile applications are not quite the same. The Windows version and especially the one for Blackberry fall far behind what ETrade has to offer on Android and iOS.
For instance, in April 2012, Speech Recognition was first added to their iPhone (not iPad) mobile application and later to the Android app as well; allowing the user to request stock quotes, options chains, company information, or to launch the stock order, just by using voice.
“Investors are becoming more accustomed to interacting with voice-enabled technology, and we’re proud to be one of the first to offer this innovative feature to our mobile users,” said Michael Curcio, President, ETRADE Securities. “By integrating voice technology, ETRADE provides a mobile experience unlike any other – creating a state-of-the-art and convenient approach to navigation.”
ETrade uses speech recognition and speech synthesis software provided by Nuance Communications, Inc. The application is feature-packed, comes as an 11 MB download, and is not, what you would call a thin client. Only a very few of those features however, are accessible through Voice Commands.