The ARIA project is a European project, with partners from the UK, Germany, France and The Netherlands. This has its perks, when you need to sit down for a face-to-face meeting there is no other option than to travel. And I love to visit new places!
This time, Edinburgh Scotland! Lovely city that looks and feels historical. Things to find there: loads of nice pubs, random bagpipers in front the Scottish High Court for Justice, friendly people, surprisingly nice weather and obviously: Hurray for Haggis!
The use-case within the project is a virtual agent that plays the role of Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. A user can ask Alice everything about the story. She is the expert, she lived it, so she should be able to answer all the questions you might have. In the book, her answers are sometimes unexpected, but always lovely.
So imagine our surprise when we ran into Alice in a shop window. Even with my favourite quote from the book! Truly a curious cool coincidence!
It was not all play and pretty pictures, we managed to do some decent development work. For instance, we managed to find a bug in the Automatic Speech Recognition that had been bugging us for a long time. We also managed to get our Question Answer matching system to play nice within the ARIA Dialogue Management system. Due to, in no small part, this meeting we are on track for our March deliverable. Great times, see you guys next time!