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Star Trek Bridge Crew Gets IBM Watson-Powered Voice Commands (theverge.com) 61

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Star Trek Bridge Crew -- the VR game that puts you in the slip-on space shoes of a Starfleet officer -- already emphasizes vocal communication when you're playing with real humans, but it will soon allow you to use your voice to issue orders to computer-controlled characters, too. The feature has been made possible using IBM's VR Speech Sandbox. The software combines IBM Watson's Speech to Text and Conversation services with the company's Unity SDK, using the natural language processing capabilities of IBM's Watson software to parse your barked commands, and allow AI-controlled characters to act on them. Players will be able to launch photon torpedoes, jump to warp speed, or lock S-foils in attack formation (maybe not that last one) by requesting that your crew members push the relevant blinking buttons on their own command consoles. The feature will go live in beta form this summer, soon after the game's release on May 30th, and will allow players to complete missions across VR platforms and with a mixture of human and AI teammates.

Slashdot reader PolygamousRanchKid adds: "Let's just skip all that stuff, and cut right to the part where Kirk gets the girl... How well it actually works in practice, we'll see this summer, aboard our own starships. "Scotty, beam up the IBM stock price!" -- Posterior Admiral Ginni Rometty

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Star Trek Bridge Crew Gets IBM Watson-Powered Voice Commands

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  • with voice as smooth as molasses
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 12, 2017 @06:18AM (#54404619)

    By utilizing this software you agree to give IBM a royalty free, transferrable, resalable right to all vocal recordings, likenesses, and any other invaluable IP spoken within range of the always on gaming microphone.

    Should you wish to retain your privacy you may opt-out by signing the official IBM opt-in form, which guarantees that they will have access to all abovementioned intellectual property rights in the event that you sucessfully opted out.

    Oops.

    captcha was 'miseries'

  • Computer (Score:4, Funny)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @06:45AM (#54404687)

    End simulation.

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @06:53AM (#54404699)
    IBM is big on deep learning, and a centerpiece of that it Watson. I am wondering what Watson will gain from this through it's Speech to Text and Conversation services. If it's not connected in such a meaningful way, that seems like an opportunity lost.
  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @07:14AM (#54404741) Homepage Journal
    Voice recognition software! It must be powered by AI and deep neural nets. Progress is amazing. Once day they will make software that will allow you to control your computer using voice commands. And then AI will have arrived.
    • Re:Whoa (Score:4, Funny)

      by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @11:20AM (#54405857) Homepage

      We can already do that comma and it works perfectly full stop post comment open porn folder

      • There are few things as annoying as a guy who is CONSTANTLY texting using that damn speech to text feature. Imagine being stuck in a shared hospital room for 4 days with him in the other bed.

    • Re:Whoa (Score:4, Interesting)

      by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Friday May 12, 2017 @11:43AM (#54405999)
      Voice recognition is already pretty good. It's not Enterprise-D computer level good, but in most cases it works. What really bothers me is that I doubt that the simulation will be able to support some of the things that fans would say to it.

      "Reroute plasma through the secondary power coupling."

      "Cycle power through ventral relay."

      "Uncouple the Heisenberg compensators."

      Sure, Watson will turn the voice into text accurately enough, but the simulation won't support any of those things, and will just respond with the same thing that Alexa or Google Home does: "I'm sorry, I don't understand". That's just disappointing.
      • Just hire the devs from Nethack and Space Station 13. Lock them in a room and ply them with coffee and box sets. Soon have a complete simulation done.

  • You just can't lock s-foils in attack formation in a star trek game. It's sacrilege, even to mention such a thing in a joking manner. Put Beau in the brig while we decide what to do about it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Will they be able to recognize you as an individual and be able to tie that info into an online profile of you, a sort of audio fingerprint ? If not now, wil they store the recordings of your voice until they can sometime in the future ?

  • You would think that the 23rd century would have better shoes in space. You can't kick Klingon ass with slip-ons.
  • Any game that requires a thousand dollars of additional hardware per player on top of an already expensive PC has no chance of success. It's going to wind up being the greatest game nobody can play.
    • Which is why players will go to a VR parlor and pay for this experience. It's the greatest game that nobody can *OWN*, but they can probably afford to play it.
      • Which is why players will go to a VR parlor and pay for this experience. It's the greatest game that nobody can *OWN*, but they can probably afford to play it.

        And to make matters worse, there's already a Non-VR Bridge Simulator that is more fun &, less expensive http://store.steampowered.com/... [steampowered.com]

        ... that already has 3rd parties touring USA offering expensive, parlor-style setups. http://www.gamingnomads.com/ [gamingnomads.com]

        (Not affiliated with creator, or gaming nomads. Just played once at a convention, once at home; and both times made me smile.)

    • You're probably right. But that is a problem for the financial backers to worry about. As a gamer who owns a Vive, the only thing I care about is whether the game is fun or not.
      • by kuzb ( 724081 )
        I'm sure it will be. You just won't be able to enjoy it with your friends unless they all own the needed hardware. That's the problem. The main strength of this game is going to be the co-op play. Sharing the experience with others. Without that it won't last.
    • It was astounding that people paid hourly fees for text muds in the mid 90s, to the tune of hundreds of dollars per month. There is subset of the gaming population who will seek out exclusive experiences, even if they cost several thousand dollars.
      • by kuzb ( 724081 )
        There is, but I'm not sure it's enough to sustain the market. VR is not selling that well and game publishers are backing away from committing to the platform as a result.
    • Price will come down. It might cost a thousand dollars today, but in a few years there will be new devices out for half the price, and today's ones will be going on eBay as people upgrade to the new models that do pretty much the same but weigh less.

    • Gamers are already spending an average of $1300 for their game computers. It's totally believable, to me, that a number of them would be willing to drop an extra $600 to play VR games.

  • I understand it sends sound data to IBM and get the result. How usable is it, considering introduced network latency?
  • So pretty much the same as what https://voiceattack.com/ [voiceattack.com] does or am I missing something?

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. -- Albert Einstein

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