Slide 18 of 25
The InfoWiz project is centered around the idea of putting a interactive kiosk into the lobby of SRI. People who have a few minutes to spend should be able to learn something about SRI, enjoy themselves, and walk away with a good feeling of having seen something interesting and unusual.
One of the design decisions of the project has been to use speech recognition as the main form of user input tothe system. Using a mouse to navigate through scrollbars and web links might be a concept unfamiliar with many visitors to SRI. If we are successful in building a natural spoken language interface, this should contribute to the user's overall impression of ease of use, advanced technology, and general intelligence of the system. Of course, this is quite a challenge, given the diverse population of visitors to SRI (many varied accents, interests, language styles), and the fact that a visitor will only a very short time to learn how to interact with the unfamiliar system.
In order to encourage spoken interaction with the system, we have created an animated character, a cartoon wizard, who attempts to engage the user in conversations about SRI. The InfoWiz can answer questions, provide supplementary information, make suggestions, and take the user on guided tours of the information space.