Entertainment Technology Group
With the emergence of the Internet as a competitor to television, radio, motion pictures and print for creation and delivery of entertainment, important uses of this technology await discovery. This research merges computing and communications, with the goal being to evolve, invent and introduce new entertainment genres and the technology to enable these new uses of the medium. Creation of entertainment using technology, particularly when the entertainment itself is using the technology in new ways, will naturally lead to further development and maturation of the entertainment technology field. This group shares many common interests with the ACT Lab AI & Robotics Group.
Project: Talking Picture Frame
Purpose: Develop a speech interface to an intelligent agent.
Researchers: None at present
Researcher Alumni: Adrian Diaz
Applications: User interface design, kiosk interfaces, automated telephone interactions, electronic entertainment.
Our approach is to combine existing open source technology in AI intelligent agents (ProgramD, AIML, ALICE), low-cost Java speech recognition and speech generation libraries (CloudGarden), and a small form factor computer with microphone input, speaker output and a flat panel LCD display, to create an interactive intelligent agent in a picture frame.
AI Intelligent Agent
To implement a Java-based AI intelligent agent, the Alice Program D program is an excellent starting point. The personality can be modified using the AIML (Artificial Intelligence Modeling Language), enabling customization for different end-users.
Excellent, inexpensive, Java speech interface support is available from CloudGarden. There is a pre-existing product that provides a similar interface to what this project hopes to develop, called AliceTalker. A personal license for the CloudGarden JSAPI is $16.
Small Form Factor Computer
To enable the finished project to be attractively and usefully displayed, we need a small but capable computer, including a flat-panel display, microphone input and speaker output. Ideally, all would be integrated into (behind) the display, which could be hung on the wall. If the computer also includes a video camera, there is the potential for incorporating visual input into the intelligent agent.
Project: Intelligent Chatbot
Purpose: Develop a software brain that passes the Turing Test
Researchers: open project
Applications: Contextual help, automated customer support, user interface design, computer game thinking
Our approach is to leverage existing chatbot technology, and focus on the design aspects of thought interactions. This involves the use of Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML), and XML specification for programming chatbots, and the Artificial Linguistic Computer Entity (ALICE) platform, an open source, natural language chatbot that relies on artificial intelligence for human interaction. The bulk of this research involves investigating and developing approaches to model convincing thought interactions in AIML.
Develop the "brain" for it to serve as a web-search proxy agent, a belligerent jerk, a pseudo-professor who is always waiting to answer student questions, or other interesting or quirky personalities.
To implement a Java-based AIM chatbot, an excellent and well-developed platform is the Alice Program D program. Within the startup.xml configuration file, there is an easy way to enable an AIM listener. Note that you have to configure Alice to login with a particular Screen Name and password, so this has to be created first at the AIM Screen Name registration page. To create a custom personality, new AIML must be created, so start by checking out the online documentation and also viewing the existing AIML files in the "aiml" directory in the Program D code. To load specific AIML files into Alice's "brain," look in the startup.xml file for the <learn> tags. where you will specify a path to the AIML files that you want to load.
Setting up a ProgramD Chatbot
Use our quick-start tutorial to get an AIM Chatbot up and running quickly, and with as little pain as possible.
We sometimes have an experimental chatbot running, named IzzyChip that you can chat with.
Project: Web-based Science Entertainment
Purpose: Develop a science adventure web entertainment site.
Researchers: Tom Way
Space is possibly the last, and most intriguing, of science frontiers to explore. In this project, we will consider what would happen if a mission of fantastic proportions was undertaken, in secrecy, to assist an extra-Earth society in a time of crisis. The year is 1994. A signal is detected from the Alpha Centauri star system 4.37 light years away. At first incomprehensible, its message is now clear. An advanced civilization is in crisis. Its population is in peril. And they need our help.
Task, tools and ideas: