Inspiration

From my teaching experience based on round robin story and “once upon a time” -the storytelling board game where students take turns telling specific parts of a story with coherence. Through the rotation, every student work on respective element, but be involved in each other's plots.

As a teacher, I need to do instructions, including giving tips for expanded telling, guiding them to incorporate a variety of vocabularies and speak it out using meaningful sentences.

In this way, students can learn that they need to maintain cohesiveness in this cooperative learning exercise, and be respectful of other creator’s thinking and ideas which connects that information to emotions.

What it does

There are three roles on our platform: promoter, storyteller and apprentice. Promoter starts a story task by providing the opening of the story and relevant keywords.Then storytellers participate and collaborate with the promoter to complete the story. Apprentice can listen to random stories completed by other storytellers, with a maximum of 10 stories per day.

Each story has a default of 3 rounds. Each round contains 2 keywords (could be noun, verb, phrase, etc.). The promoter can further initiate the story as a sponsor, placing specific elements related to brand or product at the opening of the story and keywords. If a storyteller takes the promoter's challenge, there will be 3 rounds to be completed. Storyteller's goal is to create a great story with 2 given keywords in each round. Each round must contain at least one keyword to get scored.

We have a leaderboard which selects top 3 storytellers on weekly rankings and make visualized STT records like conversational fiction on our website. This leaderboard aims to increase exposure of their work and let other users subscribe them. An optional $3.99 monthly subscription fee will be distributed to stories on the leaderboard. All of the storytellers' mission is to improve their ranking on the leaderboard because 30% of the $3.99 monthly subscription fee will be distributed proportionally to the Top ranking on leaderboard every month. (We value everyone’s engagement and devotion in co-creation.)

If having completed 10 tasks as a storyteller, user can unlock 20 times for listening stories and 8 times for viewing conversational fictions. Our $3.99 monthly subscription plan provides premium services and is linked to our website https://podcast.voiss.nctu.me/challenge/create. After upgrading, as an apprentice, user will have unlimited stories to listen to. As premium user, just say “save the story”, you can save whatever story you like and see the visualized conversation on our website.

As promoter, user has an account which shows up to 5 storyteller records per month. Our $3.99 premium plan provides unlimited records for promoters to view.

How we built it

-node.js -dynamoDB -AWS -EC2 -NTTS with SSML -STT keyword slot check -ask-cli -mysql -Javascript -es6 -rds -sq, -Amazon-Web-Services

Challenges we ran into

We spent much time writing codes for integration, but unfortunately we did not have enough time to develop the module sounds, music, etc. which we would love to provide to the creators. Same case with the portal to allow creators to choose different voices for TTS. We eventually integrated the six different NTTS voices with our system.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

As Alexa basically uses storage of keywords, we took quite a long time to look for suitable slot type reference. At first we found the slot type of AMAZON.LITERAL, but it had unfortunately migrated.

We later found AMAZON.SearchQuery, which can handle user answers with utterances, and used it to design utterance. From a VUI stance, we adopted the concept of magic spell which guides the user to say specific phrase at the start of sentence for the purpose of capturing complete utterance. With complete utterance, keywords uploaded on our website, and predefined resolved value, we could do slot matching.

What we learned

We believe Alexa's greatest potential lies in its opportunity for users to express more. We try not to control or restrict users to say either A or B. Instead, we are keen to make their ideas be freely conveyed through lively conversation.

What's next for collaborative story

We will continue to develop party-game mode for this skill as we hope to connect people in both physical and virtual space.

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