From speach to banking

2016-09-06 06:00

Reginald Dodds, lecturer in the Computer Science Department of the University of the Western Cape, explains the concept of the app developed by Daniel, Kyle and Liam.

“Each team had to design and build an application, or so-called app, that uses the Amazon Echo, which is a device connected to the internet and that handles speech commands and responds in speech. Once the Echo is switched on, it listens to spoken commands which are processed by computers in the cloud. The commands are turned into text that the application can process. A typical application uses a web server that is connected to the internet. To get the attention of the device any command starting with “Alexa” can be given,” he says.

The device is very good at understanding speech.

Once a service is running, one can give the device commands such as “Alexa, tell me a joke”, and it will respond by telling a joke.

The UWC team built an app called EasyBank which can process spoken commands to do many internet banking transactions. The app is intended to make online banking possible for a visually impaired or computer illiterate person.

According to Dodds, the team seemed to be doing well from the first hour that they arrived at the venue. “They were well organised and really knew what they wanted to do from the word go.”

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