This week’s sprint was more research on AI with voice in Unity. I had accomplished last weeks sprint by being able to communicate with Watson and having speech to text working. The next sprint will focus on getting the Watson Text-To-Speech service to receive the Speech-To-Text input from the Oculus headset and logging the event.The sprint goal is to have the Watson servers are able to translate the text from the Speech-To-Text(STT) service and output it as Text-To-Speech(TTS). I will also be logging the events to analyze the amount of delay between capturing the input and generating the speech output. As in my previous sprint, I am keeping the task realistic because this approach works well for me and keeps me focused. I set have planned to spend 2 two hour blocks during the week and a four hour block of time on the weekend, for a total of ( hours. This will be a one week sprint. I will post the sprint to my Trello board and I am using Unity Collaborate again for my version tracking. With the upcoming freetime my in my evening schedule, I don’t see any problems with staying focused on getting the TTS communicating with the STT service.
At the moment, the only issue is that the API for the Watson Unity SDK is being update and should be released in the next week or two, according to the forum posts by one of the IBM developers. After the updated SDK is released, I will be starting the sprint.
I have also been looking into some alternatives to IBM Watson, such as Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive services. They released a beta in July for Unity and it is working for Unity 2018.3 and Unity 2019.1. The speech services they offer are STT, TTS, speech translation and a preview for what they call Voice-first virtual assistants. There are a few issues with training custom speech models with audio and transcription using UK English and this could be an issue since many of my students speak with non-American accent. Many of them study in England or Australia on summer language programs as the United States is perceived to be too dangerous. I have added this to my Trello Board as one of the next cards to explore.
In the meantime, I have also been doing some research on this weeks module on communities of practice. Two years back when I was in a Java programming bootcamp, I was involved in a few communities, such as the local maker scene in Detroit as well as the local android users group. Being involved in the user groups gave me a chance to meet other developers with similar interests and helped spark new ideas for projects. It also pushed me to attend meetups and talks on a wide range of technical topics and learn new skills by attending workshops.
This is something I have been missing since returning to Japan and after staring the course, I have recently attended two meeting for Unity developers and met with a group that is working with android and AR. A person I met at the Unity meeting invited me to this event. It was really an amazing time and some people I talked with are working on some cool projects. The meetings have left me feeling inspired after listening to the members share their projects as well as their their experience and knowledge. Some of the people I have met, have sent me mails of upcoming some upcoming hackathons and coding jams and asked me to join them. I’m a bit self conscious about my ability but am thinking about joining them in October for the experience. I may turn this into a sprint goal if it relates to what I’m working on now.