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Synthetic Agents that Speak and Listen. Talking with Highbrow Avatars on Your Cell Phone Prof. Matthew Nickerson, Southern Utah University. Automated Audio Tours . Audio cassette player. Analog. Audio CD Player. Digital audio player. Multimedia player. Digital.

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synthetic agents that speak and listen

Synthetic Agents that Speak and Listen

Talking with Highbrow Avatars on Your Cell Phone

Prof. Matthew Nickerson, Southern Utah University

automated audio tours
Automated Audio Tours

Audio cassette player

Analog

Audio CD Player

Digital audio player

Multimedia player

Digital

research issues
Research issues
  • Frustration and complications
  • Player damage, loss, or theft.
  • Patron anxiety
  • Updates and changes
  • Outdoor venues can be problematic.
  • Patrons with limited mobility.
automated audio tours4
Automated Audio Tours

Audio cassette player

Analog

Audio CD Player

Digital audio player

B Y O P

Multimedia player

Digital

v oice e xtensible m arkup l anguage
Voice Extensible Markup Language

VXML is an XML-based markup language designed specifically to implement interactive voice dialogs.

Web Server

VXML

Digital Sound Content

User

Cell Phone

Voice / Telephony

Gateway

historical photograph exhibit
Historical photograph exhibit

A gallery exhibit featuring historic photographs

covering 100 years

of theater history in Cedar City, Utah. 1900-2000

benefits to developer
Benefits to developer
  • Low upfront costs, start slow
  • No check out/in, maintenance, personnel
  • Easily updated
  • Real-time usage statistics
  • Powerful evaluation tool
benefits to users
Benefits to users
  • Familiar device
  • No check-in or collateral required
  • Avoid hygiene concerns
  • BYOD
platform
Platform?

Work with a Vendor

Do it yourself

partner with a vendor
Partner with a vendor

Web Server

VXML

Digital Sound Content

User

Cell Phone

Voice / Telephony

Gateway

bridging worldwide networks

User

Cell Phone

Bridging Worldwide Networks

TELEPHONY

INTERNET

Voice

Server

Web Server - VXML

Digital Sound Content

built in vxml tools
Built in VXML tools
  • Voice or DTMF input
  • Prerecorded or computer generated output
  • Audio system event handlers
  • Interrupt
  • Capture audio input
virtual conversation
Virtual conversation

A gallery exhibit featuring historic photographs

covering 100 years

of local theater history, 1900-2000.

building synthetic agents
Building Synthetic Agents
  • Voice or DTMF input
  • Prerecorded or computer generated output
  • Audio system event handlers
  • Interrupt
  • Capture audio input
limiting response options

Do you want to know more about General Lee?

What artistic period are you interested in?

What area are you currently exploring?

Limiting Response Options
  • Ask questions
limiting response options17
Limiting Response Options
  • Ask questions
  • Create grammars

<rule id = “destination” scope = “public” >

<one-of>

<item> <tag> “new york” </tag> new york </item>

<item> <tag> “new york” </tag> new york city </item>

<item> <tag> “new york” </tag> big apple </item>

</one-of>

</rule>

limiting response options18

PROXIMITY

GEOGRAPHY

SUBJECT

Limiting Response Options
  • Ask questions
  • Create grammars
  • Point of contact
location location location
Location, location, location

WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth

challenges to cultural heritage applications and others
Challenges to Cultural Heritage Applications… and others
  • Current policies
  • Photography
  • Limiting phone calls/conversations
  • No speaker phones, please!
  • Reception
choosing a voice
Choosing a voice

Battle of the sexes among synthetic agents and avatars

BMW, Unisys, GMVoices

modulated human voice
Modulated human voice… ?

Some swear that synthetic agents are better… others just swear.

Clifford Nass, Stanford University; Sprint PCS

nuance in virtual conversation
Nuance in “virtual” conversation

Affective interpretation of metaphorical utterances

Catherine Smith, et al.

School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham

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