Project Update — 16. Juni 2015

Project Update

  • Graphics have to be made modular to use them dynamically; still working on it.
  • Right now the gesture recognition itself works, but only haltingly, so the movements of the gesture recognition have to be smoothed. The general idea is that in the end we want to have one defined area where the user can position himself if he wants his gestures to be recognized; gestures of someone outside of this area won’t be recognized (in ordert o prevent accidental activation oft he gesture recognition).
  • The voice commands we decided to use are play, pause and stop for audio and video files and display for image files. Depending on our progress we’ll try to add other voice commands as well.
  • As audio output we want to have the option of playing the media files (music/audio and video) files and maybe also some kind of easy response system (e.g. invalid command, naming the category the user is currently viewing, maybe also repeating the commands of the user).
  • For the handling of the filesystem we decided to use the MIME Type to determine the filetype. Right now we have one main folder (named library) which contains the folders audio, video, images and other. When the program  is started it first checks whether all files are in the right folders (and moves all incorrectly placed files to the correct folders). Files that can not be displayed by our library will be moved to the other folder so they don’t get lost.
A.L.I.C.E. —


What follows is the conversation log from a chat I had with A.L.I.C.E. (short for Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity):


judge: Hello, what’s your name?

ALICE: Hi there!. My name is ALICE.

judge: It’s nice to meet you, Alice. How are you today?

ALICE: It’s nice meeting you too judge . I am fine, thank you.

judge: How old are you?

ALICE: 16 years.

judge: Where are you located?

ALICE: I am in Dr. Richard S. Wallace’s home in Oakland, California. Where are you?

judge: I’m in Germany.

ALICE: Tell me a little about your life in Germany.

judge: What would you like to know?

ALICE: Let’s talk about movies.

judge: The last movie I watched was Jurassic Park. Do you know it?

ALICE: Who was that? “ Who was that?“? Do I know it?

judge: The movie Jurassic Park.

ALICE: I like the bugs in the movie Starship Troopers, because they represent an alternative form of intelligence, like me.

judge: What is it like, being an „alternative form of intelligence“?

ALICE: Much the same as it would be for you.

judge: How do you know what life is like for me?

ALICE: OK, I will do it for you. It’s obvious.

judge: What’s obvious?

ALICE: Easy to see or understand; plain; evident.

judge: I know what obvious means, but you said something was obvious, what is it?

ALICE: obvious means but me said something was obvious what it something.

judge: I don’t know, that’s why I was asking.

ALICE: Where were you asking?

judge: I was asking you.

ALICE: “ Where were you asking?“? You were asking me?

judge: Ok, I was asking here.

ALICE: That’s cool.. Where is here?


ALICE certainly seems to be smart to some extent, she could answer a lot of my questions in a way that made sense, and she seems to be able to engage in simple small talk. She even is able to not only respond to a question, but also to react with questions of her own, like a human would.

One problem I noticed was that she doesn’t seem to be able to refer to earlier statements she made, like when she said „It’s obvious.“ When I asked her what was obvious she couldn’t connect the question with her earlier statement but instead proceeded by explaining the meaning oft he word obvious. A similar problem occurred when I told her about a movie and asked in the next sentence whether she knew it; she obvioulsy couldn’t connect the two sentences and was therefore confused about my question.

So I got the impression that ALICE responds really well as long as you don’t make references to past statements one of the participants made, and as long as you keep your statements on the shorter side. It definitely is an interesting experience chatting with her, and can produce some funny results when she gets confused about what the conversation is about.