Check out the basic technologies and services required for making your own virtual assistant.
Virtual assistants are in demand because of entrepreneurs and online businesses. They need help but don’t want to spend resources on office space for staff. However, many small and mid-size businesses use virtual support, especially for specific tasks like social media management. Theoretically, a virtual assistant can do anything that a human staff might do. There are limitations, but technology is increasingly offering ways to work around those limitations. For instance, although they may not be able to bring you coffee physically in the morning, they can place a coffee or lunch order through a food delivery service. If you possess the appropriate skills and sources required for making virtual assistants you can surely make one. Let’s get started with the basic things required to build the virtual assistant.
Speech recognition is a crucial feature of most artificial intelligence devices. Accordingly, this package helps the program understand its voice commands and converts the speech into text format.
With this mechanism, the client-side of the applications will resize the voice data and send it to the server in a succinct format. It will provide a fast application performance without annoying delays. To implement this mechanism, you can use the G.711 standard.
This is a very important option security feature that you should take into account to create your own AI assistant. Thanks to this feature, the voice assistant may identify who is talking and whether it is necessary to respond. Thus, you may avoid a comic situation that happened to Siri and Amazon Alexa when they lowered the temperature in a house and even turned off someone’s thermostat by hearing a relevant command from the TV speakers.
pyttsx3 is another library in Python that helps in converting speech commands into text format. This package works on most system types like Linux, Windows, and macOS.
It is used to fetch a variety of information from the Wikipedia website. To install this module type the below command in the terminal.
Intelligent tagging and decision-making serve for interpreting the user’s request. For example, the user may ask: ‘What do I watch tonight?’. The technology will tag the top-rated movies and suggest a few according to your interests. The AlchemyAPI may help you build an AI assistant that can cope with this task.
Text to Speech Package
Your assistant will need to convert your voiced question to a text one. And then, once the assistant looks up an answer online, it will need to convert the response into a voiceable phrase. For this purpose, you will have to use the gTTS package (Google Text-to-Speech). This package interfaces with Google Translate’s API.
The noises from cars, electrical appliances, other people talking near you make the user’s voice unclear. This technology will reduce or eliminate the background noise that prevents correct voice recognition. If you want to build your assistant, this feature can serve as a good addition that will enhance the overall user experience.
Image recognition is an optional but very useful feature. Later, you can use it for developing multimodal speech recognition. Have a look at OpenCV if you want to create an AI assistant with this feature under the hood.
Following are some of the independent services you can use to make your voice assistant-
Jasper would be suitable for those who prefer to program the biggest part of artificial intelligence without external support and create the custom AI assistant relying on themselves. It is also a great tool for the Raspberry Pi fans because it runs on its Model B.
Melissa is a real finding for the newcomers in development who want to create a custom voice assistant. The whole system consists of many parts. So, in case you want to add or modify a certain feature, you can do it without changing a complete algorithm.
Api.ai covers a wide range of tasks allowing you to make your assistant. Along with voice recognition, it also supports converting voice into text followed by the execution of the relevant tasks. Analyzing and concluding isn’t alien for this service either.
Wit.ai is similar to Api.ai service. There are two elements to set up in your app if you want to use it – intents and entities. Similar to the Siri system, intent stands for the action that a user wants to perform, e.g., show the weather. Entities clarify the characteristics of a given intent, e.g., the time and place of a user.