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Princeton Students Develop Open Source Voice Control Platform For Any Device

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the yell-at-your-computer-more-effectively dept.

Input Devices 34

rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Two Princeton computer science students have created an open source platform for developing voice-controlled applications that are always on. Created by Shubhro Saha and Charlie Marsh, Jasper runs on the Raspberry Pi under Raspbian, using a collection of open source libraries to make up a development platform for building voice-controlled applications. Marsh and Saha demonstrate Jasper's capability to perform Internet searches, update social media, and control music players such as Spotify. You need a few easily obtainable bits of hardware (a USB microphone, wifi dongle or ethernet, and speakers). The whole thing is powered by CMU Sphinx (which /. covered the open sourcing of back in 2000). Jasper provides Python modules (under the MIT license) for recognizing phrases and taking action, or speaking when events occur. There doesn't seem to be anything tying it to the Raspberry Pi either, so you could likely run it on an HTPC for always-on voice control of your media center.

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Open source platform for Voice control (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46704787)

They need to develope a Raspberry PI with at least 4 usb hubs, I use them for all sorts of data collection applications like RF tag readers and security cameras.

Re:Open source platform for Voice control (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46704913)

The solution is just to attach a hub. It isn't meant to be a production SBC. They can't meet their price point by adding more connectors to a larger board.

Re:Open source platform for Voice control (5, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | about 7 months ago | (#46705209)

My experience is the rasp pi just isn't stable enough in that kind of configuration for serious use (other experiences may vary). When you get higher USB traffic or eth traffic, it fails, and when it fails spectacularly and usually takes the board down with it. There are better boards out there are a slightly higher price range that can handle this no problem.

Don't get me wrong, I love the rasp pi and I think it's awesome what they've done and more importantly what they've started (this kinda ultra cheap computer was a dream just a little while ago, now you've got a wide variety, and I believe the rasp pi was directly responsible for this). The reality is however that a good number of alternatives have popped up at a variety of price points, many better suited for a lot of the purposes we originally were salivating over for the pi. Definitely worth looking around before trying to force a pi to do it.

Re:Open source platform for Voice control (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 7 months ago | (#46705533)

Yikes!

Terrible grammar, even for me. Sorry folks :(

Re:Open source platform for Voice control (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#46705735)

isn't mono already open source cross platform and run on the same platforms as espeak including rasp pi... system.speech namespace http://go-mono.com/status/stat... [go-mono.com]

Re:Open source platform for Voice control (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706529)

Sounds like a crap powersupply.

WHY ? Why do you want a live mic permanently on ? (1)

span100 (2350592) | about 7 months ago | (#46705623)

There is a point worth remembering, If its on a network it's hackable. Why would you want a hackable always on microphone in your house. Sorry, there is no way in the universe i will have ANY live mic or camera permanently on.

Re:WHY ? Why do you want a live mic permanently on (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#46705803)

Probably depends on what you mean by "network". As far as mere voice commands are concerned, some bit-banged unidirectional interface could easily send low bitrate signals into whatever network you have at home. How would you "hack" something like that?

Oh good another "agent" + ViaVoice synergy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46704877)

When will there be new ideas? I've been in systems engineering since the early '80s, and no new ideas have appeared since the mid-'90s, except miniaturisation techniques. Computing has become dull.

The new ideas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705249)

Are happening on a higher level now.

Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (-1, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46704901)

There are tens of these sort of projects and this one won't run on 'any' hardware as it uses some heavy libraries that certainly aren't going to work on ANY of the embedded systems I use.

Try again.

Re:Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 7 months ago | (#46705013)

There are tens of these sort of projects and this one won't run on 'any' hardware as it uses some heavy libraries that certainly aren't going to work on ANY of the embedded systems I use.

Well, I'm shocked at ther deceptiveness of the article! Shocked, I tell you, shocked AND appaled.

I mean there are *so* many devices these things won't run on. It won't run on my little PIC12F678 with it's 64B of RAM and 1K flash. It won't run on my typewriter OR daisywheel and it most certainly won't work on my wax cylinder player.

A clue: "any" in this context means there are no device specific restrictions limiting it artificially. But you already knew that.

Re:Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705267)

It won't run on my little PIC12F678 with it's 64B of RAM and 1K flash.

Nevertheless it would be nice to know approximately where the lower boundary is.
Saying that it runs on Raspberry Pi isn't really telling considering that the Pi pretty much has the specification of a full blown computer.
Even if it won't work on any 8-bit controller it would be nice to know if there is any possibility to make it run on a 32-bit controller without having to add external memory and storage.
The segment of 32-bit controllers in the 100MHz-range with around 64k internal ram and 200k flash is pretty big.
If one of those can be used it can be added to all sorts of neat stuff for a low cost.
If you have to add external memory you are moving to a segment of controllers with a different target audience and the neat motor control signals you wanted to use might not be available then.

Saying that it works on Pi is pretty much like saying that it works on a standard desktop without a fat graphics card. The Pi isn't very limited.

Re:Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (2)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 7 months ago | (#46705865)

If the device can't run full-blown Linux with either ALSA or OSS support, then it sounds like you're out of luck. Full language models seem to be around 50MB of data, although I assume that simpler models could be used if recognition is constrained to a certain word set.

Compiled on my system, libsphinxbase.a is 298KB after being stripped, and the shared library is 302KB. That sounds like it's pretty far out of the size range that you're looking for.

Re:Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46705767)

No, I don't magically know what they mean given no context. Thats the point. It won't run on any device, hell, it won't even run on any RaspberryPi since ... some of the licenses for those libraries themselves are potentially conflicting.

I'm not sure what magical fairy world 'any' device belongs to, but not a single one I can think of applies here.

But hey, why let reality cloud your inner fanboy, eh?

Re:Another project using sphinx isn't impressive (1)

Ksevio (865461) | about 7 months ago | (#46705669)

A project that needs a full computer OS along with a high speed internet connection isn't really impressive. Now if he did it on an Arduino, that would show some progress.

Just say no (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46704959)

Say no to this Beta garbage. It's just another attempt by Dice to keep you under their thumb.

... with a RaspberryPi (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46705119)

With a RaspberryPi you don't say? Quick, get a patent on this innovative technology that would be so mundane if it were implemented on a desktop machine running Debian or something.

Re:... with a RaspberryPi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705687)

With a RaspberryPi you don't say? Quick, get a patent on this innovative technology that would be so mundane if it were implemented on a desktop machine running Debian or something.

it was probably more geared towards informing the reader of how little horsepower the application actually takes, that it can be run on a $35 computer the size of a deck of cards

Re:... with a RaspberryPi (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 7 months ago | (#46705791)

Just don't use a USB mic ... unless you want the RaspberryPi's awesome USB hardware to randomly drop words on you.

For the life of my I can't understand why people think using the RaspberryPi is a good idea. Its shit hardware, its not the cheapest, at best its one of many in its price range and its a steaming pile of shit hardware wise. For fucks sake, they can make a god damn camera add on but can't make freaking revision of the board that has FUNCTIONAL USB.

Re:... with a RaspberryPi (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46705983)

FWIW the USB and Ethernet problems are all Broadcom's fault for making shitty SoC.

Re:... with a RaspberryPi (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 7 months ago | (#46705965)

It could also be marketed as "run a voice-controlled program on your 15 year old PC" or "Like speech recognition? Don't want to send your data to Google? You're in luck! Now with Python-y goodness!" Neither of those are as heavy on buzzwords, though. At the very least, you get an idea of the minimum requirements to use the project.

I Already Have This (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705491)

I already have this. I say "[son's name] - go do this for me" and he goes and does it.

Uh oh. (1)

q4Fry (1322209) | about 7 months ago | (#46705713)

"Format see colon. Why. Enter."

Re:Uh oh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706293)

bash: format: command not found

Pretty cool.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705757)

The fun things students come up with!
My son currently is in an engineering Graduate program in MA. He used to think they could try making cool things and maybe actually build and sell them.
Unfortunately most, if not all, can't take it beyond the classroom or home made use only. There is a huge list of patent trolls waiting on you if do.
Start here: https://www.google.com/?tbm=pts#q=voice+control&tbm=pts

He found this out the hard way :(

I don't even have to look (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#46706055)

_Of course_ 'sudo make me a sandwich' is in the libraries!

interesting (1)

Mirar (264502) | about 7 months ago | (#46706783)

I find this very interesting. I was looking for an easy way of setting up always-on microphones with speech synthesis for intelligent home use.
I didn't plan on using a Pi though, but a few of the always-on full blown linux pc I have around.

Aziz, light!

Exciting (1)

elwin_windleaf (643442) | about 7 months ago | (#46706785)

I really like the way that these types of programs are taking us. It's about time that my computer starts listening to me while I'm yelling at it!

I've been using Blather [gitorious.org] myself, and really enjoy the results.

So they packaged some olds apps nicely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46708953)

I do not want to detract from the great work they did to integrate and document these existing packages but I do need to point out that there is very little that is original about what they have done.

I have been using a very similar set-up to entertain my kids for several years and I just followed the instructions written by other people. The difference was it was not in one place and I had to research the options then stitch it together with a bit of scripting.

Seems annoying (1)

backslashdot (95548) | about 7 months ago | (#46709819)

After saying the trigger word, you have to pause .. that's a bit ridiculous and annoying .. I doubt this would catch on .. for it to catch on, it needs to allow you to say a continuous sentence without pausing. The latest chip from audience.com has this feature (called VoiceQ). Their chip is for phones, so it should be possible to implement the same technology in software on a desktop CPU.

Wow Really very useful information. Thanks a lot f (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46711669)

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Not usable outside research (1)

JoSch1337 (1168265) | about 7 months ago | (#46713097)

jasper depends on the "CMU-Cambridge Statistical Language Modeling Toolkit V2" which is released under the condition that it will only be used for research purposes. Therefore, their setup can't be used for non-research purposes. I doubt that setting up my own home-automation system counts as research...

Re:Not usable outside research (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 7 months ago | (#46742291)

maybe you should research that...
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