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Update #2

First Google Summer of Code Weekly Progress Reports; Featured on O'Reilly; and Please Help Think of Some $2,500 Rewards

8 comments

The project's Google Summer of Code 2012 students' first weekly project reports were published today on the Pronunciation Evaluation blog. In them, Ronanki and Troy describe what they have done prior to the official start of their projects. Look at how long those lists are! They have already written several dozen kilobytes of code (I will let you know when they commit their first check in so you can follow along downloading it) including two different kinds of browser microphone upload applications (using wami-recorder and rtmplite.) Ronanki already has instant speech PCM upload with wami-recorder to sphinx3_align phoneme segmentation working, and a program which converts a string of phonemes into an edit distance scoring grammar for sphinx3. Troy has already measured the fidelity of the various speex vocoder quality levels for ultra low-bandwidth uploads to help save mobile battery life and network bandwidth. (I understand this might be very technical for most of you -- please ask me in comments here if you would like me to elaborate on any of these aspects after you read the students' blog posts.)

As they mention, both Ronanki and Troy will also be blogging weekly at the CMU Sphinx organization blog on SourceForge, which you might want to follow if you are interested in very technical aspects of speech recognition, and their project plans will be kept up to date on the CMU Sphinx SourceForge wiki. Troy also linked to his personal blog, where he has been keeping the detailed configuration and parameter information for all his projects.

In other news, O'Reilly Media featured us in the 4th position on their curated page linked from the Kickstarter home page. This should be great for our chances of success. As you can see, all of their featured projects have succeeded, by an average of 387%!

Here is our current Kicktraq progress graph:

It looks like we still need to work three times as hard, up from 3.2 times as hard a few days ago. Will do! (By the way, the success probability bump at $15,000 from the graph in my last update did turn out to be an artifact of insufficient data. Sorry about that.)

Finally, I have been informed by a potential backer that we need a $2,500 reward.  What should we offer? I'm going to start with having a biographical or any other suitable story selected by backer(s) at that level be included as one of the initial adventure stories we will ship with the default server and stand-alone instructional content. But I will also offer all other reasonable suggestions from existing backers posted in the comments here. I reserve the right to change the reward dollar amount in the case of particularly easy or difficult suggestions. So please start thinking -- what should we offer?

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator Kevin Ryan on June 9, 2012

      I just added my Pledge, and am really excited about this project. As an English teacher in Japan, a developer of floppy-based CYOA content before the WWW, and a long-time follower of Speech Recognition technology, I can see that this project as merits in so many ways. Linking pronunciation to an outcome that advances a story line makes total sense from a second language acquisition (SLA) perspective.

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Denis Zaviyalov on June 4, 2012

      But the problem with giving you any money is that you have too much debt and other obligations, and most importantly, as my experience shows, you cannot be trusted.

    3. Selfportcrop.small

      Creator James Salsman on May 31, 2012

      Denis: one of the Google Summer of Code students who applied to work on the project agreed with my suggestion that it would be more engaging as a game, and the other mentors in the CMU Sphinx organization agreed long before we decided to run a Kickstarter. However, we need to develop graphics, animations, and sound to provide the look and feel of a game, for the same reason that "Choose Your Own Adventure" books are illustrated on every page. That kind of content doesn't come cheap.

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Denis Zaviyalov on May 31, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Denis Zaviyalov on May 31, 2012

      I mailed the form.

    6. Selfportcrop.small

      Creator James Salsman on May 31, 2012

      Denis: Yes, I did. I even reported the income for which you failed to file a Form 1099, which was nowhere near $15K. Unemployment overpayments aren't subject to forfeiture, so even if your accusations were true, the project would not be endangered.

    7. Missing_small

      Creator Denis Zaviyalov on May 31, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Denis Zaviyalov on May 29, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    13 backers

    Anyone who pledges $5 or more will have early access to the instructional content created with the funds from this Kickstarter. It will still all be open source, but the adventures and phrase libraries created with the help of money raised here will be released on stand-alone systems to $5+ backers months before they are available to the general public.

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    18 backers

    Be thanked by name in the source code, on the primary web site, in mobile and desktop app "about" boxes, and on web sites created with the default installer.

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    10 backers

    Acknowledgment as above, plus a bumper/laptop sticker with the project name and logo.

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    10 backers

    Acknowledgment and three stickers as above, and a DVD-ROM with the source code, text and speech database, and default web site installer.

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    1 backer

    Same as the $50 rewards, except the DVD-ROM contents come on an 8 GB flash thumb drive instead. (Any of the following rewards come with your choice of DVD-ROM or flash thumb drive, even though they only say DVD -- they can't be edited after they've been pledged.)

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    Acknowledgment, three stickers, and the DVD-ROM as above, plus a t-shirt with the project name and logo.

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    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    Acknowledgment, three stickers, the DVD-ROM, and the t-shirt as above, plus up to six hours of installation and customization work on your school, business, or agency's site.

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  • Pledge $2,500 or more
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    0 backers

    Acknowledgment, three stickers, the DVD-ROM, and the t-shirt as above, and specify a biographical or any other suitable story to be included as one of the initial adventure stories we will ship with the default web server and stand-alone instructional content. Immortalize your adventure to help everyone learn to read and speak!

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