2013 in review – 4,300 views! :)

12 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Develop your own Android voice app!

26 Dec

Voice application Development for Android

My colleague Michael F. McTear has got a new and very topical book out! Voice Application Development for Android, co-authored with Zoraida Callejas. Apart from a hands-on step-by-step but still condensed guide to voice application development, you get the source code to develop your own Android apps for free!

Get the book here or through Amazon. And have a look at the source code here.

Exciting times ahead for do-it-yourself Android speech app development!

The AVIxD 49 VUI Tips in 45 Minutes !

6 Nov

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The illustrious Association for Voice Interaction Design (AVIxD) organised a Workshop in the context of SpeechTEK in August 2010, whose goal was “to provide VUI designers with as many tips as possible during the session“. Initially the goal was 30 Tips in 45 minutes. But they got overexcited and came up with a whooping 49 Tips in the end! The Session was moderated by Jenni McKienzie, and the panelists were David Attwater, Jon Bloom, Karen Kaushansky, and Julie Underdahl. This list dates back 3 years now, but it’s by no means outdated. This is the most sound advice you will find in designing better voice recognition IVRs and I hated it being buried in a PDF!

So I am audaciously plagiarising and bringing you here: the 49 VUI Tips for Better Voice User Interface Design! Or go and read the .PDF yourselves here:

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And finally ….

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Have you got a VUI Tip you can’t find in this list that you’d like to share? Tell us here!

 

XOWi: The wearable Voice Recognition Personal Assistant

30 Oct

I just found out about the new venture of my colleagues, Ahmed Bouzid and Weiye Ma, and I’m all excited and want to spread the word!

They came up with the idea of a Wearable and hence Ubiquitous Personal Voice Assistant, XOWi (pronounced Zoe). The basic concept is that XOWi is small and unintrusive (you wear it like a badge or pin it somewhere near you) but still connects to your smartphone and through that to all kinds of apps and websites for communicating with people (Facebook, Twitter, Ebay) and controlling data and information (selecting TV channels, switching the aircon on). Moreover, it is completely voice-driven, so it is completely hands- and eyes-free. This means that it won’t distract you (if you’re driving, reading, working) and if you have any vision impairment or disability, you are still completely connected and communicable. So, XOWi truly turns Star Trek into reality! The video below explains the concept:


The type of application context is exemplified by the following diagram.

XOWi architecture

And here is how it works:

Ahmed and Weiye have turned to Kickstarter for crowdfunding. If they manage to get $100,000 by 21st November, XOWi will become a product and I will get one for my birthday in March 2014! :D Join the Innovators and support the next generation in smart communicators!

TEDxSalford 2012: Best of

13 Apr

I can’t believe it’s already been a year since TEDxSalford! TEDxSalford took place on a very sunny Saturday (28th January) at the futuristic Lowry building in Media City, Salford.

I was tweeting for most of the event  and compiled a list of all my relevant tweets and retweets both from the day and in the build-up to the event in this post. Below is the Best of!

TEDxSalford Logo

Tweets – Best of!

Maria Aretoulaki

Jeremy Rifkin: Primitive man’s mind: food, shelter, sex / Modern man’s mind: beer, coffee, apps ! @TEDxSalford http://www.ted.com/talks/jeremy_rifkin_on_the_empathic_civilization.html
30 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Amy Purdy: If you were writing a book about your life, how would you like it to go? TEDTalk 3 @TEDxSalford #TEDxSalford http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_purdy_living_beyond_limits.html
In reply to TEDxSalford
30 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

@herbkim @TEDxSalford was mindblowing! So much intellect, so much empathy, so much emotion, all rolled into one. A blog post is in order!
In reply to Herb Kim
30 Jan

“Nothing is impossible.” -@astro_ron #tedxsalford

Retweeted by Maria Aretoulaki

Maria Aretoulaki

Umut Kose: each of us produces 340 million neutrinos per day that reach the farthest corners of the universe #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Gemma Cameron ‏ @ruby_gem

“Do you remember your first time with the Internet?” #TEDxSalford
Retweeted by Maria Aretoulaki
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): old bands prob reform in order to make money to buy their sound recordings off the record labels#TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): that’s what record labels are now – content businesses #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki 

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): we’ve moved away from BC and AD to BEFORE INTERNET and AFTER INTERNET #TEDxSalford

28 Jan

Maria Aretoulaki

Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets): the current copyright laws are useless #TEDxSalford
28 Jan

TEDxSalford Programme

 

The first time ever someone ordered a pizza with a computer!

23 Jan

In 1974 Donald Sherman, whose speech was limited by a neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome, used a new-fangled device designed by John Eulenberg to dial up a pizzeria. The first call went to Dominos, which hung up. They were apparently too busy becoming a behemoth. Mercifully, a humane pizzeria – Mr. Mike’s – took the call, and history was made. It all plays out below, and we hope that Mr. Mike’s is still thriving all these years later….” (Smithsonian.com Blog)

Speech synthesis on this computer was rather slow, and it also apparently required “Yes/No” questions to just simply generate a “Yes” or a “No” too. Still, it could also synthesize other phrases, such as the pizza toppings (pepperoni and mushrooms, salami ...), the complex delivery address (the Michigan State Computer Science Department), as well as the contact number for callback. So not bad at all!

I was touched by the patience and kindness of the pizza place employee. He would patiently wait for up to 5 seconds for any answer, which must have been unnerving in itself! And now he is part of History! Good on him!! And well done to the Michigan State University‘s Artificial Language Laboratory and Dr. John Eulenberg!

2012 in review – Not Bad! :)

9 Jan

It’s nice, flashy, and insightful, so I had to repost! :) 

Apparently, my Top 5 posts with the most views in 2012 were:

  1. The voice-activated lift won’t do Scottish! (Burnistoun S1E1 – ELEVEN!) 8 COMMENTS July 2010
  2. Speech Recognition for Dummies 20 COMMENTS May 2010
  3. TEDxSalford (28 Jan 2012): 10 hours of mind-blowing inspiration 2 COMMENTS March 2012
  4. TEDxManchester (13 Feb 2012): Best of! 1 COMMENT May 2012
  5. What to do after a PhD? (University of Manchester Pathways 2011) 0 COMMENTS June 2011

Happy New Year! :)

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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