Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

Cardiff University Develops Virtual Assistant Dubbed Sherlock

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
The system acted as a quizmaster at a BBC event.

The Simple Human Experiment Regarding Locally Observed Collective Knowledge virtual assistant known as Sherlock recently had its first public trial.

Credit: Cardiff University

Simple Human Experiment Regarding Locally Observed Collective Knowledge (Sherlock), a virtual assistant developed at Cardiff University, recently had its first public trial at the BBC's Make It Digital event.

The researchers say Sherlock communicates in a human-like way, using controlled natural-language technology developed by IBM. The tool answers questions as well as asking them to build up its knowledge base. The question-and-answer process helps ensure the software and user "understand each other," says project leader and Cardiff professor Alun Preece.

Sherlock acted as a quizmaster, answering questions about BBC television shows, during the event.

Although it is still just a research project, Sherlock has been tested in multiple scenarios, including as a tool for emergency services and as an information app at a festival.

Preece says the technology also could serve as a smart home assistant. "In a home that has a smart thermostat and devices that can detect if a window is open, a user might say to Sherlock 'I'm cold' and it would offer alternatives, such as 'I can close the window or turn the heating up'," he notes.

From BBC News
View Full Article


Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


No entries found