Blog

  • Being KRISTINA: The Question Answering soul that drives the AI mind

    May 29, 2017, by lpmayos

    With the introduction of the first smartphone around ten years ago many people have come to grabs with a new kind of technology that surprised them, as they never thought that their lives would benefit from it as much as they did. The next surprise in this technological journey came five years later, when virtual assistants, a “fairytale” whose origins date back to the 60’s, were introduced in smartphones. It was not just an evolution, it was a breakthrough! Even more so when one considers that these assistants operate from a portable gadget that sits in the palm of ...

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  • A better health assistance for migrants: family doctors will help us to evaluate the KRISTINA prototype

    May 12, 2017, by Chiara Baudracco

    Family medicine needs to be supported. Now, more than ever, communication technologies will help family doctors to improve their work especially when necessary to overcome linguistic barriers in order to ensure an effective and accurate assistance. The European Funded Project KRISTINA will develop and present a virtual assistant in the field of healthcare that will enable getting over language barriers when dealing with users and, therefore, its priority application will be to attend migrants who are struggling to overcome linguistic barriers. With the first prototype, KRISTINA becomes a conversation partner and during the last semFYC National Congress it has been ...

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  • Standards in Kristina’s Avatar; Meeting between ARIA-VALUSPA and KRISTINA

    March 22, 2017, by lpmayos

    Last month, a workshop between the members of KRISTINA and ARIA-VALUSPA, another H2020 project on interactive virtual agents, was held in Dagstuhl (a computer science centre in the south-west of Germany). During this workshop several meetings to discuss different disciplines that creating interactive virtual agents involves took place.

    From a post of the ARIA-VALUSPA project (by Merijn Bruijnes):
    “The ARIA VALUSPA project (Artificial Retrieval of Information Assistants – Virtual Agents with Linguistic Understanding, Social skills, and Personalised Aspects) aims to create Artificial Retrieval of Information Assistants (ARIAs) that are capable of holding multi-modal social interactions in challenging and unexpected situations. The ...

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  • Looking for an efficient and universal health care assistance

    March 8, 2017, by semFYC

    Rachid is a 35-year old man from Morocco but he is now living in Spain, Madrid, since 2012. Five years ago, he left his wife and three children, looking for a better life and opportunities for his family. In his country, he worked over 16 years as a peddler but here in Spain, he found a first job opportunity as a farmer and now he is working in a hostel in the city Centre. I am his Family Doctor and I know Rachid very well. I met him for the first time three years ago, when he came to our ...

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  • The Kristina Social agent, the result of diversity and teamwork

    Jan. 30, 2017, by lstellingwerff

    The Kristina project aims at building a “"Knowledge-Based Information Agent with Social Competence and Human Interaction Capabilities". This is a pretty ambitious goal, but our current work is very promising in achieving that goal. Through diversity and teamwork, the agent is taking shape and starts to gain such competences and capabilities. And this is important, as the Kristina agent is going to be used to help people enhancing their lives, helping to bridge culture and language barriers and providing easier access to medical and health information.

    The Kristina project consortium consists of a broad set of partners, each with different ...

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  • Talking with machines

    Jan. 5, 2017, by Thiago Fraga da Silva

    (c) Can Stock Photo / ankomando

    Talking with machines like we do with humans it is a scenario present in many Science Fiction books, movies and TV series. Back in the 1960's Rosie, the home robot in the Jetsons, conversed with the family. And in the Star Wars series, C-3PO had very human expressions and could communicate with R2D2 who was not able to speak, but could understand spoken instructions. The computer in Star Trek was able to identify who was speaking and to understand voice commands for piloting the space shuttle. In most very recent movies, robots are hardly ...

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  • Affective computing using Russell’s Circumplex model of affect

    Dec. 2, 2016, by Oriol Martínez

    Interaction between humans and computers has been increasingly growing during last 30 years [1]. Just think about how television, personal computers and, lately, mobile devices take an important role in your everyday life. Affective computing research aims to equip such deviceswith human-like capabilities to change the way we interact with them. In other words, we want automaticsystems that can recognize, interpret, process and simulate human affects with the final goal to emulatehuman empathy [2].

    Image

    In the KRISTINA project,we use Russell’s Circumplex model of affect [3] on both sides of the interaction pipeline: emotion recognition and emotion simulation.The ...

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  • Europe’s getting older

    Oct. 25, 2016, by Jutta Mohr

    We all are getting older. But not only as individuals; Europe is getting older as well. Soon, the number of older people will exceed the number of children and more people are estimated to reach an extreme old age than ever before.  In January 2015, 18,9% of the population of Europe was 65 years of age or older. In Germany, the share of older people is even higher.  And still, we continue to get older: According to estimates, in 2050 the share of those over age 65 will rise to 27%. And by 2080, the share of people with ...

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  • KRISTINA is getting deeply emotional

    Sept. 27, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

    With the first prototype of KRISTINA is nearing its completion, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about the technical side of the project. As the project’s description states it is “KRISTINA’s overall objective [..] to develop a human-like socially competent and communicative agent that […] run[s] on mobile communication devices”. To create an agent with human-like communication skills we need to analyze the users input not only with respect to the semantics of his conversational contributions but also to his overall affective state in order to react accordingly. This goal is equally challenging from a scientific point ...

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  • Seeing the Sounds

    July 28, 2016, by Mireia Farrús

    The McGurk effect is a perceptual phenomenon accidentally discovered by Harry McGurk and John MacDonald in 1976. MacDonald, who was McGurk’s research assistant at that time, was asked to dub a video differently from which was spoken to conduct a psychology perception experiment with infants. Surprisingly, what they listened when playing the video was not the spoken segment nor the one performed with the lips, but a third one. To give an illustrative example, when pronouncing the syllable ba dubbed onto the syllable ga, the researchers perceived da. Due to this audiovisual illusion, the McGurk effect is also known ...

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multilingual intelligent embodied agent social competence adaptive dialogue expressive speech recognition and synthesis discourse generation vocal facial and gestural social and emotional cues