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What do you get when you put six data scientists and a crate of beer in an apartment in Luik for the weekend? …a virtual voice assistant off course!

We have something we call Project Friday. Every now and then we lock ourselves in a room for the friday afternoon, or for the whole weekend in this case, and work on a project which doesn’t generate any money! We’re not your typical consultancy company. Why do we do this, actually two reasons: 1) learn the boundaries of the current state of A.I. and 2) just because it’s fun!

After we have put a brain and an eye to a coffee machine and played around with a drone inside our office, we decided it was time for a new project:  Willybot, ‘’the assistant of Cmotions’’. Bored of taking notes in meetings, and triggered by the Google Assistant (Duplex) that could make an appointment with a hairdresser. We decided to see whether we could build our own virtual assistant.

So how did we go about? Well we’ve put six colleagues in a humid apartment in Luik. Supplied them with beers, chips and a Azure virtual machine, and magic happened! After two hard days of work (and two nights of partying) we came up with a voice assistant that is able to summarise our spoken and written words, send automated summaries, make appointments, and create to do lists. And all by simply sending a voice message to our Willybot on Telegram.

What did we use:

  • Telegram
  • Google speech-to-text API
  • Azure virtual machine
  • Python

What did we learn so far?

  • The Google speech-to-text API is quite good at transcribing general Dutch conversations
  • We love Telegram (but we acutally already knew that)
  • We love Python even more (but again, nothing new here)
  • Luik is not the prettiest city but luckily we know how to party

In the coming months we will develop new features for our Willybot. Stay tuned for more blog-posts and video’s on this cool project. Or come and say hi to our Willybot in person in our office in Amersfoort.

Written by Sebastiaan de Vries

Sebastiaan de Vries
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