Marvin the !Paranoid Android
A Digital Personal Assistant for the rest of us
Digital personal assistants are great, especially as NLP and voice recognition algorithms improve, however the top ones are closed source. We really wanted to build our own open source alternative (or at least provide a solid base) for others to hack on and improve.
We use Wit.ai for extracting the intents and entities from input, and then a number of other API's to provide info back to the user. For info about a person, place or thing, we use Freebase to give a couple sentences about the topic requested. For somewhat more specific questions, we query the Wolfram API. Ask our assistant when you can get a ride, and it'll give you the different Uber services available with their ETA. However, this on it's own isn't particularly special. So we integrated with Twilio as well.
In addition to accessing our service through web, you can not only text it, but also call it through Twilio. We tailor our responses based on the client, and our assistant will answer in real time. We're most proud of this feature, as it allows anyone without a smartphone, to still request data on the go. We're aimed at those without a data connection, who still want the power of Siri or Google Now. But most importantly, it will be open soure, and hackable by others, so you don't have to wait for the next update, but can make your own.