CEC Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


"Where are the Christmas Decorations?": A Memory Assistant for Storage Locations

Event Location / Date(s)

Madrid, Spain / 2001

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

6th International Workshop on the Applications of Natural Language to Information Systems

First Page


Last Page



At Hewlett-Packard Laboratories we want to know how inexpensive it can be to endow mobile personal assistants with the ability to speak naturally with their users. To this end, we are investigating and demonstrating speech-capable mobile personal assistants that can be realized using common off-the-shelf hardware and software components, a modest development effort, and wireless connectivity. As a part of this activity, we built a storage location memory assistant by connecting a voice front end on a PDA to a database back end on a remote server, with speech, natural language, and dialog processing in between. Specifically, the storage location memory assistant saves and retrieves information about the locations of stored objects in and around the user's house. Here is a sample dialog:

User: Where are the Christmas decorations?

PDA: They're in the leftmost medium-sized white box under the wood table in the garage.

To implement the storage location memory assistant, we leverage technologies in speech recording, voice recognition, parser generation, and database management to produce domain-limited natural language understanding and semi-structured knowledge representation. In this paper, we describe the architecture of the system, and some of the more interesting technical details.

This document is currently not available here.