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Today and the Future of Wearable Agents Emmett Coin Director of Speech Research and Development Spee

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NOT just a voice app on a cell phone or PDA. Voice dialing. Stock quote. One shot use ... The latest cell phones have the power to support a voice-based agent. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Today and the Future of Wearable Agents Emmett Coin Director of Speech Research and Development Spee


1
Today and the Future of Wearable AgentsEmmett
CoinDirector of Speech Research and
DevelopmentSpeechTEK 2007 West, February 21,
2007
2
what I will talk about
  • Definition of a wearable voice agent
  • Overview of voice-based agents in logistics
  • the subsystems in a real world voice application
  • Some of the more difficult issues
  • Futures
  • Summary
  • Conclusion

3
what is a Wearable Voice Agent?
  • NOT just a voice app on a cell phone or PDA
  • Voice dialing
  • Stock quote
  • One shot use
  • Rather it IS a partner that
  • Complements the task (a teammate)
  • Adds value (faster, more accurate, less injury
    etc.)
  • Used for extended periods of time (maybe all day
    long)
  • Requires no (or very little) hand/eye time
  • Is as small as possible
  • Becomes Invisible (forget that the device is
    there)

4
some examples
  • Currently
  • Battlefield Translation
  • Inspection Insurance, Q/C
  • Logistics Distribution Centers
  • Consumer GPS route computers
  • Very Near Future
  • Retail Extend Distribution to the Sales Clerk
  • Consumer Organize lists and errands
  • Industry Process Control

5
voice in logistics
  • Distribution Centers
  • The way we move the vast majority of products
    from manufacturer to consumer
  • Moving from many homogeneous collections to many
    heterogeneous collections
  • Many Suppliers (send product TO the Center)
  • Many Stores (receive product FROM the Center)
  • A massive repackaging task
  • A sizable fraction of the cost retail products
  • One of the biggest sectors of wearable voice
    agents to date

6
voice in logistics
7
a Selector talking to Jennifer
  • The agent tells the human
  • where to go
  • what to select
  • how many to select
  • where to put the item(s)
  • The human tells the agent
  • Location checkstring
  • Quantity selected
  • If the bin is empty

8
a Selector Agent in the Refrigerator.
9
some things that just happened
  • Selector was directed to product
  • Location was verified
  • Some product had unique weights entered
  • Others had expiration dates to verify
  • Selector needed the agent to repeat
  • Selector was lifting (80 lbs), walking, driving,
    reading, etc. while talking

10
fast interaction
  • Overlapped dialog
  • Look ahead
  • Independent use
  • Eyes
  • Hands
  • Speech
  • Natural corrections
  • Low cognitive load

11
accommodation
  • Linguistics
  • Finishing each others sentences
  • The classic barge-in
  • The never (but maybe soon) seen interruption
  • Expectation
  • Predicting dialog flow
  • When the response is marginal but expected
  • Response is legal but how probable?

12
accommodation example agent side
  • In conventional voice applications the prompts
    need to be clear and unambiguous.
  • But for an agent co-worker this would be
    tedious.
  • In the beginning a natural prompt speed is best
    for learning the routine.
  • Later, however, natural will feel like
    slow-mo and must be snappier.
  • Later still, the human and agent know each other
    well and just cut to the chase further shortening
    the prompt.

13
components of a voice agent
  • Small device
  • Light weight, long battery life, rugged
  • Speech Technologies
  • Recognition,Text-to-Speech and recorded waves
  • Multi-Modal fits in here too.
  • Dialog Management
  • A core system that controls the goals of the
    interaction
  • Connectivity
  • The real work usually involves information
    external to the agent

14
simple view of a generic voice platform
  • Most PDA-like platforms run some version of
    Windows CE or Windows Mobile
  • They need full-duplex GOOD quality audio IO
  • Enough cycles to do the ASR and TTS
  • Low level control over power management

15
a more complicated view
16
some industrial hardware platforms
devicesSmall_3.JPG
devicesSmall_3.JPG
17
did I mention they have to be tough
18
would regular folks talk with a computer?
  • Obviously Hands and Eyes free
  • Grocery shopping
  • Assembling a childs toy
  • Cooking a new recipe
  • We think differently (freely? Innovatively?) when
    we talk
  • Talking is a low (perceived) cognitive load
  • People get writers block more often than
    talkers block
  • To off load and manage the fussy details of our
    lives

19
Futures
  • The latest cell phones have the power to support
    a voice-based agent.
  • They cost 1/10th of a present day industrial
    device
  • It is just a matter of time before we talk TO our
    phone as well as ON it.

20
Summary
  • Wearable voice agents
  • Have been here for a while
  • Proven and make good business sense
  • Declining in cost
  • Expanding the range of worker multi-tasking
  • Can be effortless to use

21
Conclusions
  • They are more places than you think
  • They are REAL TOOLS not window dressing
  • They are just in their infancy
  • I am looking forward to my next new synthetic
    agent!

22
  • Thank you!
  • Contact
  • Emmett Coin
  • Director of Speech Research and Development
  • coin_at_lucasware.com
  • 724 940 7041
  • www.lucasware.com
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