Viv at the ArticuLab

week 8

tl;dr Ran a computer-computer interaction; attended/presented at the demo!


With the demo on Thursday, we spent the preceding days fixing a ton of last-minute things (including patching up last-minute loopholes, in the lack of time to come up with elegant solutions) (also, recording a test run of Sara and me chatting to show Justine, who gave feedback on both the scenario and nonverbal behaviors).

Alankar and I also came up with a last-minute (but brilliant) thing to add to our demo presentation--since he's been working on a user simulator and I've been working on Sara's architecture, we hooked our systems up for some computer-computer interaction. Yoichi added TTS, so we could hear our systems speak to one another (we also had to significantly slow our systems down–their exchanges were so quick we couldn't even read the screen as it scrolled), and the final product was so, so cool (also funny, because the user simulator's rather serious and Sara's currently quite sassy). I wish I could show you a video, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed?

After a string of long nights (spent on everything I previously mentioned, plus presentation prep), we arrived at 7:45am on Demo Day to put the finishing (formatting) touches on our slides; move our lab's resident Microsoft Surface up to the demo room (for our bffl Oscar, who gave a separate demo and needed two screens); and grab continental breakfast. The event took all day (as there were several demos, all extremely interesting)–we had the slot after a second coffee break and before lunch, which turned out to be ideal, and everything was practically perfect. (At the very end of the day, Heidi (Justine's office manager) made us take home ridiculously large wedges of cheese from the reception (which we then ate during our movie marathon; see below).


We finished up Assassin on the same day as the demo; then started an evening-to-early-morning Lord of the Rings marathon (for which I attempted to make lembas and pretty much failed). We didn't get six meals in, but we did consume a great deal of snacks, and we made it through two-thirds of the trilogy (on a weeknight!) before calling it a night. (I know, not a real marathon, but it was still a blast.)

Also: I spent the weekend in Ann Arbor, which was lovely and full of books; more on this later.