We can identify with the crazy hectic lifestyle of a college student. Places to go, people to see, code to write. The last thing on our priority list is actually attending class. This unfortunately will occasionally cause lots of conflict when it comes to getting the grades, especially when the professors don't upload their presentations.
Enter AbsentA's. Leveraging IBM Watson's AI capabilities, we have created a web application that allows you to upload audio files and produces quiz questions based on the file.
What it does
It takes an audio input lecture file, and converts it into a .txt file. While in that state, it allows you to either download the .txt file or take one step further to use the .txt file to generate practice quizzes to get familiar with the materials. It then allows to recreate different set of questions or re-upload a different audio file.
How we built it
We split our group into two teams. Team UIPwnsAll built out the front end of the code. They used PHP, HTML, & CSS to create a beautifully clean interface to upload files. They also created the classes necessary to save the files locally to then be analyzed by Watson or be viewed via text.
Team Backend4Days used Node JS and the Watson API to develop a robust backend that implements speech to text and analyzes the text for keywords and entities. We created our own logic to use objects from the text as the subject for quiz questions.
Challenges we ran into
Quite a few. One of the first was not knowing Node JS and not figuring out that implementing Watson with Node is easier than implementing Watson with CURL commands. We also struggled with uploading the audio files through PHP to be interpreted by Watson and with other limitations Watson had that we couldn't customize.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Getting through this weekend. This was the first hackathon for a lot of our team members and we are really proud of how well we worked together. We are also really proud of our product that we have created.
What we learned
A dash of Node JS. A dollop of humility. A sprinkle of forcing PHP file downloads. A healthy dose of teamwork.
What's next for AbsentA's
To Infinity and Beyond. We are looking forward to perfecting our product. Branching out to creating true or false questions, and short answer or fill in the blank questions. One day we wish to be the go to quiz software for all those other absentees out there.