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By Matt Buck & Lauren Golembiewski The History and Future of Speaking with Machines #givevoice

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Overview • The history of speaking with machines • The principles of conversational design • The future of speaking with machines • Demonstration of building a voice interface

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Talking with Machines Speech recognition Speech synthesis

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• c.1219 - c.1292 • English philosopher and Franciscan friar • Proponent of the scientific method Roger Bacon

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Brazen Heads • Automatons • Not real (obvs) • Could answer any question put to them

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1700s: Early speech synthesis • 1779: Christian Gottlieb Kratzenstein models vocal tract • 1791: Wolfgang von Kempelen’s “acoustic- mechanical speech machine” Wolfgang_von_Kempelen's_Speaking_Machine

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1846: Euphonia • Created by Joseph Faber • Also played like an organ • Modeled entire head • Spoke three languages 2009/06/24/joseph-fabers-talking-euphonia/

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Slide 10 text Alexander Graham Bell

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99% Invisible EP. 208 “VOX EX MACHINA”

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Slide 15 text 1940: Voder World’s Fair Demo

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• One of the most influential engineers of the 20th century • Inventor of the term “transistor” • “There are strong reasons for believing that spoken English is… not recognizable phoneme by phoneme or word by word.” 1969: John Robinson Pierce

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• Used TI’s Solid State Speech • First toy to use speech that was synthesized 1978: The Texas Instruments Speak & Spell

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1978: The TI Speak & Spell

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• Interest in speech recognition reignited by DARPA grants in early 70s • Tangora: A voice-activated word processor with a 20,000 word vocabulary 1986: IBM Tangora

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Interactive Voice Response

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• Integrated with core Apple apps + Wolfram Alpha • Solved real problems 2011: Siri

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• Neural network capable of generating speech • Can mimic any human voice • Reduces gap in performance by over 50% 2016: Google WaveNet

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• Ubiquitous voice interfaces • Always-on, react to “wake words” • Siri-like functionality • Control smart-home devices 2014-2016: Amazon Echo & Google Home

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Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

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The History of Speaking with Machines • Roger Bacon’s Brazen Head • Early attempts at speech synthesis • The 20th century: • Demonstration of building a voice interface

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The Core Technology The Voice User Interface Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Natural Language Understanding (NLU) Bot Intelligence Text to Speech (TTS)

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The Core Technology Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) Takes the spoken word and turns it into text.

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The Core Technology Natural Language Understanding (NLU) Gives the text meaning by turning it into structured data

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The Core Technology Bot Intelligence Bot Intelligence manages the context of the user, the application, and the conversation.

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The Core Technology Text to Speech (TTS) The result generated by the intelligence is spoken back to the user.

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User Experience 
 Principles of VUIs • Define the job your bot will do • Map the conversation flow • Help users create a mental model • Define how the machine handles the job

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What job is your bot being hired to do? USER EXPERIENCE OF VUIS

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Model the Conversation Flow “Show me flights leaving Atlanta next Friday after 4pm.” Sure thing! Would you like to fly first class, business class, or coach? First class Classy! And would you like a meal on this flight? Perfect! Here are a list of flights that match your criteria. Yes, of course. find flights first class first class, yes to meal departure city: Austin

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Give Structure to your Bot implementation model user’s mental model representation model

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Booking a Flight and a Hotel • Can user’s book a flight and a hotel with your product? • Is it only flights? If so, what if I have a problem with my flight can I contact your bot?

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Structure into Machine Language “Show me flights from Austin to Atlanta leaving next Friday 
 after 4pm.” departure city destination city date time INTENT: FLIGHTSEARCH

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User Interface Elements of VUIs • Words, Words, Words • SSML - Speech Synthesis Markup Language • Media • Hardware

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Words, Words, Words • Write for speaking and listening • Create a script and act it out

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Voice, Tone, and Persona • Voice is the quality of your words • Tone is how the words are modulated for different situations • Persona is the character that embodies the voice and tone

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Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) • Style • Emphasis • Breaks • Prosody

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Media & Hardware • Audio • Screens and Sensors • Hardware

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1. More emotional awareness 2. Social attitudes toward voice 3. Better integration of voice and visual 4. Improvements in underlying tech THE FUTURE OF SPEAKING WITH MACHINES

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