I know my buddy Hrafn over at Inkblot Earth is going to get a kick out of this (he’s an AI expert)… I just got finished getting the local weather update from MIT’s artificial intelligence weather forecaster, Jupiter.
All you do is give Jupiter a call on your phone and ask him for the forecast. He reads it off to you, and you’re on your merry way. Especially useful if you’re traveling somewhere and don’t want to have to find an Internet connection to look it up on the Web. I even made a recording so everyone could listen to a sample…
Jupiter Weather Forecast
I recommend programming Jupiter into your cell phone so you can give him a call on the road. The number is 617-258-0300 (or 888-573-8255).
Here are the basic instructions:
- When you call, you will be connected with Jupiter (the connection will take about 5 sec.), and the system will greet you with something like “Welcome to Jupiter – the automated weather service from MIT. How may I help you?”
- At this point, you will hear a brief high pitch beep, indicating that the computer is listening. You can now ask your question, e.g., what’s the forecast in Boston, will it rain tomorrow, when will the sun rise, etc.
- When you are done asking the question, you will hear a brief low pitch beep, indicating that the machine has detected an endpoint. It will entertain you with music and then respond (hopefully with the right answer!). If it doesn’t do well, you may want to change your speaking rate a bit, or try not to trail off at the end of a sentence. You might also want to simplify your query, if you are having trouble with longer queries. The system does not do as well if you are in a noisy environment or if you use cell phones.
- When Jupiter is done, it will say “can I help you with something else” and go to step 2 again. When you are done, simply hang up.
- If Jupiter doesn’t answer the phone, it’s because someone else is using it. Wait a couple of minutes and try again. Also, remember that you are being recorded. We are using your voice and queries to improve the system!
- Please keep in mind that this is not a product, it is a research prototype. We are putting it out there primarily for the purpose of data collection. But it tends to do okay on reasonable queries.
PS – For those of you that listened to the recording… it’s April 4th – in Dallas! – and Jupiter predicted afternoon snow flurries! That is freaking cold for Dallas…