Speaking ChatBots

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#1

Hey Guys,

We have released an experimental feature in the Product, which I think is pretty cool :sunglasses:.

This new feature allows any existing or new Bot to speak out loud the content, so the users can listen to the conversation instead of just reading it.

Check it out here:
https://hellotars.com/convBot/demos/dominos/?_speak

Note that this uses an experimental SpeechSynthesis Technology within HTML5 compliant Browsers, and it is still not supported in all the browsers. So keep that in mind while using this feature.

If you want to use this feature in your existing or a new Bot, check this small help doc explaining how to use it. It is very simple to enable.


#2

This goes back to a much earlier feature request in this community. Really interesting to see this software evolve as time goes on. Great job guys!


#3

Hey guys !
This is great news ! I think it can definitely be a game changer in the user experience and can really add value to the user experience. Before I make any comments, let me tell you that I’m really excited about this new feature, I like the direction its taking and will be eager to contribute to further improvements.

I’ve tried the speaking feature over different browsers, both mobile and standard computer. Here are a few heads up remarks:

  1. Speech speed : it appears to be different depending on the platform. Would be great to be able to adjust it.
  2. Speech language : liked the possibility to add language settings. For some reason the extension does not always impact the text answers sent to the bot.
  3. Enable/disable feature : this has been suggested on product hunt but I think it makes sense to have the possibility to enable or disable the speaking feature at any moment during the conversation
  4. Voice recognition : this is obviously the next step that you guys may want to investigate in the future. I think that would open up a whole new horizon for us bot makers both in terms of design and applications of chabots.

These were just a few suggestion to help you guys explore this great opportunity.

As for what I use my bots for, I’m creating virtual HR bot assistants that help small companies manage their Human Resources. We have entered the FULL Swiss employment law in the bot which can inform employees and business owners about their legal rights and obligations 24/7.

So obviously, if the HR bot can talk back, this is a huge improvement for me ! So keep going guys !


#4

Hey @Kevin,

Thanks for your thoughts on this feature. Glad to see that you like the idea behind this experimental feature.
It basically boils down to making it easy for the end user to consume information given by the Bot and when someone is speaking something out loud, it’s a lot easier to understand it, compared to focusing your eyes and mind to read.

In a way, it is like Movies vs Books.

1, 2. The remarks that you have mentioned is something we noticed ourselves in our own tests. As I mentioned above, this feature uses the SpeechSynthesis feature of the HTML5 Compliant Browsers, and it is still a very new Web capability, that’s why different browsers have different implementation of this, and is not yet properly standardized. Better Standardization and Customization in terms of Speech Speed, Speech Language, Voice Accent, etc… is expected in the future. But we will also explore what we can do with the current state of this capability.

  1. This is something I agree is required. We are exploring how we can do, as it will require addition of an extra UI element in the Chat interface, which should be accessible to the end user at all the time.

  2. Yes, this is something we definitely want to explore in the future. Although designing the UX for this will be a lot trickier than SpeechSynthesis. As the user should be able to control different input UI elements with just Voice.

Would love to check your Bot Explaining the Swiss Employement Law. Please do share it here in the community, if you can, so that it inspires other Bot makers to make such useful Bots. :smile:

Thanks again for your detailed insights about this feature. This is really helpful.


#5

Hi Vinit,
Thank you for this feature, definitely a game changer. I love that just by changing the URL I can add speech to my existing bots.
My bot speaks a bit fast, is there a way to control the speed? I have not tried the accent yet, but that seems a good localization option.
Thanks again.


#6

Hi @sponge2,

Glad to see that you liked the feature. Yes, we made it really easy for anyone to try this out in their existing Bot, without any modifications.

The Speech Rate (speed) control is not yet supported in this release, but in the future we can give it as a configurable option.


#7

That sounds great ! I’m really looking to see what’s next on that perspective. I volunteer as a tribute in case you need people for beta testing etc. :slight_smile:

Sure I can share with you the bot I’ve created for Swiss Employment Law. The full version is in French so I figured I would make a quick translation of the discovery version. I think it gives enough background to understand what the bot is all about. So here you go : https://convbot.hellotars.com/conv/SyBS1P/?_speak=en

Would love to hear what you guys think about it.
Cheers,
Kevin


#8

This is very cool! I have been playing with ideas for my blind people, and this could be incredibly helpful.


#9

Also, David’s idea of allowing us to record our own voice for the bot is pretty awesome.


#10

Hey @Nookie,

This can be something really amazing. Chatbots accessible to Visually Impaired people.
Would love to interact with such a Bot :slight_smile:


#11

Yeah, I agree.
Some of the best ideas come from the community :blush:


Utilize voice recording?
#12

Hi Vinit

Great with the speaking bot feature.

However, I faced a very unexpected issue tonight.

I wanted to show my dad my speaking chatbot on https://www.floragora.kiwi/

But… on my phone, where my Safari browser is set to ‘Danish’ language, it pronounced the words as if I had put ‘da’ for language (but I went home to check).

This is a set back for everyone who use English to target non-English speakers (but still using English). We are quite a few, so if you come up with a solution to this, I’m sure we are a few people who would like to know what workaround there might be out there.

Thanks
Thomas


#13

Hey @Thomas,

Thanks for reporting this issue.
I am still a bit confused about the exact use-case.

So the bot has message bubble text in english, and by default the language setting is set to English (en) .
But if this is opened in a browser, with default language set to Danish (da), then it talked with a Danish Acsent? But still in english?


#14

Hi Vinit, correct. We can set up a skype meeting if you want to see :slight_smile:


#15

@Thomas

Isn’t that fine, in terms of behavior.
it will just read the english but with an accent native to the user’s browser.


#16

@vinit in this case the ‘accent’ made it impossible to understand what was being said. Noone around the dinner table understood anything…


#17

Wow, how did I miss all the additional comments on this thread!? Cool dialogue going on here. My jaw dropped on the accent addition. So cool… The two ultimate goals would be the ability to record your voice and have it emulate through the bot and voice activated responses from the users (naturally). I know that these require major leaps, but this is the future. This addition plus the general direction you are heading with feature updates, and we will be seeing TARS make a statement on the world in a huge way.

I’d say the activity of this community, coupled with the increased activity of TARS users, is a sign of great things to come! Bots are the future vessel for content consumption in the world. Keep pushing the limits!