The MIT Voice Name System

by   Brian Subirana, et al.

This RFC white Paper summarizes our progress on the MIT Voice Name System (VNS) and Huey. The VNS, similar in name and function to the DNS, is a system to reserve and use "wake words" to activate Artificial Intelligence (AI) devices. Just like you can say "Hey Siri" to activate Apple's personal assistant, we propose using the VNS in smart speakers and other devices to route wake requests based on commands such as "turn off", "open grocery shopping list" or "271, start flash card review of my computer vision class". We also introduce Huey, an unambiguous Natural Language to interact with AI devices. We aim to standardize voice interactions to a universal reach similar to that of other systems such as phone numbering, with an agreed world-wide approach to assign and use numbers, or the Internet's DNS, with a standard naming system, that has helped flourish popular services including the World-Wide-Web, FTP, and email. Just like these standards are "neutral", we also aim to endow the VNS with "wake neutrality" so that each participant can develop its own digital voice. We focus on voice as a starting point to talk to any IoT object and explain briefly how the VNS may be expanded to other AI technologies enabling person-to-machine conversations (really machine-to-machine), including computer vision or neural interfaces. We also describe briefly considerations for a broader set of standards, MIT Open AI (MOA), including a reference architecture to serve as a starting point for the development of a general conversational commerce infrastructure that has standard "Wake Words", NLP commands such as "Shopping Lists" or "Flash Card Reviews", and personalities such as Pi or 271. Privacy and security are key elements considered because of speech-to-text errors and the amount of personal information contained in a voice sample.


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