Simon usually doesn’t like going places that much, but the trip to the Atomium in Brussels was a huge success, largely thanks to the Magritte exhibition hosted there at the moment. Simon liked the absurdity of Magritte’s juxtapositions and the idea that every object hides something else (behind it) from our sight. He kept talking about the meaning of the works as if he were a guide or a vlogger. The exhibition was very child friendly, everything was touchable and every painting was played with in a different manner.
Simon has just finished working on his first library, a #speechlibrary Speechjs. You can find Simon’s library on GitHub: https://github.com/simon-tiger/speechjs
Simon also added a reference page at: https://github.com/simon-tiger/speechjs/wiki/Reference
You can use this library for any project that uses #speechrecognition and/or speech synthesis. Simon has put it under the MIT (permissive) license, to make sure everyone can use it for free, he emphasized.
While writing the library, Simon also recycled various code he found online, but essentially this library is his own code. He calls the library “just a layer on top of the web speech API” (that means you’re limited to what your browser supports).
Following the exciting text-to-speech and speech-to-text projects yesterday, this morning Simon made a basic speech-to-text-to-speech demo, which means that the computer can now repeat (parrot) everything Simon says.
Simon relied on what he learned during Daniel Shiffman’s two latest live streams on the Coding Train channel in building these projects.
This has been an interesting arithmetic task Simon came up with from his Secrets of Sums book, aimed at practicing long division. You had to do the division and count how many times the 1s and the 2s appeared in your calculation, then use that number a sa secret code to decipher the second part of a rude joke (see below):
This is one of those wow projects, so much fun! Simon built his Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text demos following Daniel Shiffman’s recent live streams on working with the p5.Speech library and added some extra style features. This basically means that you can type anything on your computer and hear it say what you’ve typed (in any voice or language!) or, in what Simon said was an easier project, yell something to your computer (I love you!) and watch it type it out for you. The next step will be combining the two and including that code into a chat bot code.
You can play with Simon’s Text-to-Speech demo on GitHub at:
Basic text to speech example: https://simon-tiger.github.io/p5_speech/01_text2speech/
Example using different voices: https://simon-tiger.github.io/p5_speech/02_voices/
Basic speech to text example: https://simon-tiger.github.io/p5_speech/03_speech2text/
Code/ repo: https://github.com/simon-tiger/p5_speech
Simon is currently working on a “Matter.js textbook”, a set of tutorials on how to use Matter.js (a physics library) that he writes on GitHub. Simon writes everything himself, not copying from anywhere. Sometimes he forgets some coding syntax and looks it up in the documentation, but for the rest this is his own text. He explains: “The reason why I am making this textbook is because there are Matter.js tutorials but they are really short and there aren’t many of them. And the only video tutorials are by Daniel Shiffman and they are using P5.js.” If it proves possible, Simon might add video to his GitHub textbook later.
It’s great to observe him type away and when I look over his shoulder, I see that he makes very decent sentences, with a nice tint of humour every now and then.
The link to the textbook:
Simon has been working on a RiveScript Editor for creating chat bots. RiveScript is a markup language, that gives chat bots the ability to respond to messages from humans using natural human language. This project will involve server side programming, which means that Simon will have to go through the whole process of hosting it on Heroku once he’s finished. So far, he decided to give himself a break in the middle of programming the syntax highlighting, which he found a little too much boring work, so not sure whether the editor will ever be published. In any case, Simon has got quite far and the interface looks good.
Simon has already built three chat bots using RiveScript online editor and Atom.
Simon has come up with a code (in Processing) for an editor that includes live Webcam image to help him record coding tutorials. The project is still in progress.
Simon built “the shadow of a 4D object” during math class, inspired by the Royal Institution’s video Four Dimensional Maths: Things to See and Hear in the Fourth Dimension with Matt Parker. Simon loved the video and watched it twice. We had come across similar thought experiments while reading a book by Jacob Perelman, a Russian mathematician, where the 4th dimension was visualized as the time dimension and the objects sliding along that 4th axis would appear and disappear in our 3D world just like 3D objects would appear as their cross sections if they were observed by 2D creatures. Here is how Simon visualized it.
The first drawing is of a 3D object the way it actually looks when passing through a 2D world:
And this is what the inhabitants of the 2D world (unable to see in 3D) see – a sequence of sections of the 3D object. Similarly, we (unable to see in 4D) only see sequences of 3D sections of the 4D objects passing our world. Maybe, everything we see around us are such sections of much more complex objects as they are moving through time. “Maybe, we’re just 3D shadows of 4D objects”, says Simon.