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Virtual Tutor
Virtual Tutor
Arabic Text Mining

Virtual Tutor, which is selected from 45 submitted project proposals to the Information Technology Industry Development Agency ITIDA's Information Technology Academia Collaboration (ITAC) fund, has been granted the Product Development Programme (PDP) fund of 1 million EGP over 18 months starting from Apr. 2008 to Nov. 2009.

The project submitted by RDI aims to revolve the education via producing an advanced authoring and browsing kit that can be deployed by any entity interested in developing cultural and/or educational oriented content  in its final applications. That multimedia development kit is enriched by RDI’s speech recognition, text-to-speech, virtual talking face simulator, full text-search, online dictionaries, ... , and other RDI tools that together render e-learning into an exciting live interactive experience.

Many technological tools on the market today are geared together towards helping in education and entertainment for children. Computers have played a major role of that technology, from the more simplistic portable computerized toys to the actual computer applications designed to help children acquire useful skills while experiencing fun. Interactive books come among the most important of these applications.

The basic concept behind interactive books is to provide children with a rich learning experience while hearing/reading their due stories/lessons via allowing them to interact with the characters in a way that renders this experience into a more real one and even into a true fun. Interactive books first emerged as simple talking books that allow children read while listening to a recorded version of the story. The recording comes with sound effects and character voices that enhance the actual reading experience. It also helps those children who do not know how to read, or had difficulties at reading, enjoy the stories.

In this project we develop the second generation of interactive books by taking this idea one step further. We integrate in each such book one (or more) Virtual Tutor, which is primarily a live-like interactive computer animated character that lives within the interactive books. During the learning process, it interacts adaptively with the child to introduce the information of the learning material in a friendly way.

Besides displaying the book material on the screen in the traditional forms of text, images, and animations, the virtual tutor speaks with the child via our Arabic Text-to-Speech technology ArabTalk© to give hints and explanations that help them understand what they read, and provide them with an engaging practice with individualized support. In addition to the conventional input modalities; e.g. mouse and keyboard, the child will be able to speak with the Virtual Tutor using our Automatic Speech Recognition Labeeb© technology.

Using these added natural interaction modalities of the talking face and speech recognition, children feel they are able to take part in the educational process and actually interact with the virtual tutors. All these features add to educational e-books an extra dimension of vivacity, that in turn accelerates the progress of children through their various lessons.

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