AIRA Voice Assistant – A proof of Concept in virtual reality

Motivation

As part of the lecture “Software Development for Cloud Computing” we were looking for a solution, how a user can get basic assistance within our existing virtual reality game AIRA. The primary objective was a maximum of user-friendliness, while avoiding an interruption of the immersive gaming experience. It is also important to keep in mind, that the user is on its own and any kind of support from outside is usually not possible.

Moreover, considering that within virtual reality applications generally no conventional input devices will be available and therefore a keyboard is not an option. If we still following up this idea, many people may think next of an on-screen keyboard, as they know it from their smart TV at home, which might be operated by a game controller. Although such an approach would be contrary to a high ease of use and majority of implementations are quite crippled as well as hard to use.

So, what would be obvious and take all previous considerations into account? Simply think of something that each of us is carrying along at any time – the own unique voice. According to this we decided to implement a personal voice assistant into our game. In the following, it can be seen that the individuality of each human voice leads into a lot of difficulties we have to take care of.

In the following, it will be explained in detail how we implemented a personal voice assistant using multiple Watson serviceswhich are part of the IBM Bluemix cloud platform. Especially fundamental problems we run into will be discussed and then possible approaches will be pointed out.

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VVS-Delay – AI in the Cloud

Introduction

Howdy, Geeks! Ever frustrated by public transportation around Stuttgart?
Managed to get up early just to find out your train to university or work is delayed… again?
Yeah, we all know that! We wondered if we could get around this issue by connecting our alarm clock to some algorithms. So we would never ever have to get up too early again.

Well, okay, we’re not quite there yet. But we started with getting some data and did some hardly trustworthy hypothesis of prediction on it. In the end it’s up to you if you gonna believe it or not.

To give you a short overview, here are the components that are involved in the process. You will find the components described in more details below.
Process overview

A view parts in short:
1. crawler and database – get and store departure information
2. visualization – visualizes the delays on a map
3. statistical analysis – some statistical analysis on the delays over a week
4. continuous delivery – keep the production system up to date with the code

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Sport data stream processing on IBM Bluemix: Real Time Stream Processing Basics

New data is created every second. Just on Google the humans preform 40,000 search queries every second. By 2020 Forbes estimate 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human on our planet.
However, it is about collecting and exchanging data, which then can be used in many different ways. Equipment fault monitoring, predictive maintenance, or real-time diagnostics are only a few of the possible scenarios. Dealing with all this information, creates certain challenges for stream processing of huge amounts of data is among them.

Improvement of technology and development of big scaling systems like IBM Bluemix it is now not only possible process business or IoT data, it is also interesting to analyze complex and large data like sport studies. That’s the main idea of my application – collect data from a 24-hour swimming event to use real time processed metrics to control event and athletes flow.

In this article explains how to integrate and use the IBM tools for stream processing. We explore IBM Message Hub (for collecting streams), the IBM Streaming Analytics service (for processing events) and IBM Node.JS Service (for visualization data).
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Wettersave – Realizing Weather Forecasts with Machine Learning

    Introduction

Since the internet boom a few years ago companies started to collect and save data in an almost aggressive way. But the huge amounts of data are actually useless if they are not used to gain new information with a higher value. I was always impressed by the way how easy statistical algorithms can be used to answer extremely complex questions if you add the component “Machine Learning”. Our goal was to create a web service that does exactly that thing: We realized Weather Forecasts using Machine Learning algorithms.

The Application can be split in four parts:

  • The website is the final user interface to start a query and to see the resulting prediction.
  • The server connects all parts and hosts the website.
  • The database stores all important data about the weather.
  • IBM Watson is used to calculate the forecasts with the data of the database.

In the following I will explain the structure more detailed and show how we developed the application.
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Developing a Chat Server and Client in the Cloud

Introduction

During the Lecture “Software Development for Cloud Computing” I decided to develop a Cloud based Chat Application with the help of IBM’s Bluemix.
The Application consists of 3 separate Applications:

  • Chat Server: Allows Clients to connect to it, manages the Chat-Channels/Users and relays messages sent from a client to the other clients in the same channel.
  • Chat Client: The Client consists of a GUI where the User can connect to the Server and chat with other Users.
  • Chat Backend Database: A simple Database which records and provides the chat history of a given Chat-Channel via REST.

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Moodkoala – An intelligent Social Media application

Welcome to our blog post ‘Moodkoala – An intelligent Social Media application’. The following provides an overview of our contents.

Contents

Introduction
       – The idea behind Moodkoala
       – Technologies overview
Technologies
       – Frontend and Backend
       – Bluemix Services
       – Liberty for Java
       – Natural Language Processing
       – Tone Analyzer
       – Language Translator
       – Cloudant
       – Mood analysis with IBM Watson
       – Mood Analysis with IBM Watson Tone Analyser
       – The Mood Analysis Algorithm
       – Embedding the Tone Analyzer into the Java EE application
       – Filtering Hate comments using Natural Language Understanding
       – Natural Language Understanding
       – Summing up text analysis
       – Google and Facebook API
       – Mood imaging analysis
Implementation
       – Implementing the mood analysis algorithm
       – Deserializing JSON Strings
       – Implementing the Natural Language Processing API
       – Implementing hate comment filter into the Java EE application
       – Set up Google Sign-in
       – Set up Facebook login
       – Mood imaging implementation
       – Configuration
       – Docker and IBM Bluemix
       – Gitlab CI
       – Jenkins
Discussion and conclusion
       – Discussion Moodkoala and 12 factor app
       – Comparison to other cloud providers
       – Conclusion
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IoT with the Raspberry Pi – Final application – Part 3

In our final application, we have put together a solution consisting of four different modules. First, we have again the Raspberry Pi which raises and sends the sensor data using the already presented Python script. We changed the transfer protocol in the final application to MQTT, which gives us more possibilities in different aspects, but more on that later.
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IoT with the Raspberry Pi – Node RED – Part 2

As already stated in the introduction to our project, we decided to create a Cloud Foundry-Application in IBM Bluemix. We used the boilerplate called “Internet of Things Platform Starter”. Using this boilerplate Node Red is deployed initially.

Node Red is a software tool for graphical dataflow programming. It was developed by IBM and is open source since 2016. Providing a browser-based flow editor it enables to wire together hardware devices, APIs and online services.
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IoT with the Raspberry Pi – Part 1

Introduction to the project

As part of the lecture “Software Development for Cloud Computing” in summer term 2017 we primarily wanted to work on a project that has something to do with the Internet of Things. In more detail we decided to measure air quality using a Raspberry Pi with the MQ135 Gas sensor and send this data to our self-built cloud application to analyze it.

We started out by getting IBM Bluemix student accounts. Playing around with different Bluemix Services we found the IBM Watson IoT Platform which can display data you can send to it from other devices out of the box. Despite displaying the data in charts it is also possible to create rules and send alerts based on them and to authorize other Bluemixusers to manage your devices as well.
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How we integrated IBM Watson services into a Telegram chat bot

Introduction

IBMs artificial intelligence ‘Watson’ on the IBM Bluemix platform offers a wide range of cognitive services like image and audio analysis among other things. During our semester project in the lecture ‘Software Development for Cloud Computing’ we integrated useful Watson services into a Telegram chat bot to provide a convenient form of direct access to those services right out of an ongoing chat conversation.

Our goal was to create an intelligent Telegram bot with services like Tone Analyzer for audio messages, Visual Recognition for analyzing sent images, a Speech-To-Text functionality to be able to get spoken text inside audio messages and a translation service. Working both with a Telegram bot and IBM Watson services we came up with the name combination ‘Botson’.

In this blog post you’ll learn the basics on how to create and configure a Telegram bot as well as why we recommend creating several bot instances when working in a team. Afterwards we’ll provide an overview of the IBM Watson services that we used, what you should keep in mind when creating them in IBM Bluemix and the problems that we were facing along the way. Another part of the IBM Bluemix chapter covers how we configured the Continuous Delivery service, why we struggled to connect our existing GitHub repository to it and how we solved that among other problems.
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