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"Where Are the Christmas Decorations?": A Memory Assistant for Storage Locations

Creary, Lewis; VanHilst, Michael


Keyword(s): natural language understanding; database systems; semi-structured data; speech recognition

Abstract: At Hewlett-Packard Laboratories we want to know how inexpensive it can be to endow mobile personal assistants with the ability to speak naturally with their users. To this end, we are investigating and demonstrating speech-capable mobile personal assistants that can be realized using common off-the- shelf hardware and software components, a modest development effort, and wireless connectivity. As a part of this activity, we built a storage location memory assistant by connecting a voice front end on a PDA to a database back end on a remote server, with speech, natural language, and dialog processing in between. Specifically, the storage location memory assistant saves and retrieves information about the locations of stored objects in and around the user's house. Here is a sample dialog: User: Where are the Christmas decorations? PDA: They're in the leftmost medium-sized white box under the wood table in the garage. To implement the storage location memory assistant, we leverage technologies in speech recording, voice recognition, parser generation, and database management to produce domain-limited natural language understanding and semi-structured knowledge representation. In this paper, we describe the architecture of the system, and some of the more interesting technical details. Notes: To be presented at, and published in proceedings of, the 6th International Workshop on Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems, 28-29 June 2001, Madrid, Spain.

11 Pages

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