Our 2017 Summer Interns (Rushali Paratey, Ada Zhao, Eric Morrison, and Keenan Gray) in charge of the Creative Block wanted to explore potential applications for two upcoming technological areas: Augmented Reality, and AI Chatbots. Augmented Reality is a trending area of research and the Microsoft’s Hololens seemed to be a device worthy of exploration.
The team brainstormed several projects and eventually decided that creating an artificially intelligent agent that would exist in the same space as the user would be an interesting challenge.
One of the biggest drives of this project was the idea that most current bot interactions confine a bot to a physical object. Today’s chatbots are interacted with through text, computers, and boxes like Alexa and Google Home. Much of our communication between humans is not verbal at all, but implied through eye movement and body language. Could the team create a bot with more interactive capabilities than text-to-speech? The second major drive was to focus this bot on a different problem. Rather than being a general assistant that responds to texts and controls your music, the Creative Block would help with any creative problem a user is having. Whether it is a purely visual design problem, a musical score, or a poem, we wanted this creativity assistant to assist and challenge the user to go beyond what they are able to think of on their own.