Jul 22 – 28, 2020 Online Event
UTC timezone

Almond: An Open, Programmable Virtual Assistant

Jul 24, 2020, 4:45 PM
50 Minute Presentation Application Development and Deployment


Mr Giovanni Campagna (Stanford University)


Virtual assistants are fast becoming a proprietary platform duopoly that controls access to the web and has access to private information in all accounts and IoTs. This talk will present Almond, a FOSS, crowdsourced, privacy-preserving virtual assistant. Almond uses the crowdsourced Thingpedia skill library, currently containing over 100 services, that is open to all virtual assistants.
Almond is built using Genie, a state-of-the-art tool that enables developers to bootstrap deep-learning natural language understanding models in new domains quickly. I will discuss Genie's approach and compare it to commonly used intent classifiers.
I will present how to run Almond in the GNOME desktop, and how to leverage integration with the GNOME to add voice control to the desktop.
Additionally, Almond is unique in supporting event-driven commands that connect multiple skills. I will show how to leverage this to enable automation and end-user programming of common desktop tasks. Finally, I will discuss potential use cases and ideas for deeper voice integration.
As Almond has better technology than proprietary systems, it offers a unique opportunity to showcase the free desktops, with the help of the community.

Level of Difficulty Intermediate

Primary author

Mr Giovanni Campagna (Stanford University)

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