Definition: An intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) or intelligent personal assistant (IPA) is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on commands or questions.
In simple words, it's a set of programs that will do tasks on its own which decreases users work on a machine over a set of commands.
There are different kinds of Virtual System in the industry for general-purpose, social media, marketing etc.
Generally, a chatbot provides service through text message, they possess limited functionality and have no need for high-level algorithms.
On the other hand, Virtual assistants provide a more interactive platform. Virtual assistants provide a more interactive platform. Advanced NLP techniques and other complex algorithms are used.
Popular Virtual assistants like Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple, Cortana from Microsoft make use of highly sophisticated algorithms.
But I'm going to create a simple virtual assistant for our local machine which can perform simple tasks on my voice command built using basic concepts of Python and using its libraries.
Firstly you need to install python on your machine.
Click here to download.
I recommend python3.6 or above
Open the command prompt and install these packages using the below commands
pip install SpeechRecognition pip install gtts pip install playsound
After all the installation we need to download pyaudio. Open the link and download the file based on your machine.
Set the downloaded file location with pip install
pip install 'file name with its absolute path'
So now we are good to go...
Before that, let me explain two major packages that we are using,
- Speech Recognition: This python library converts the spoken words to text.
- Google Text-to-Speech: This python library converts text to speech.
Using Speech Recognition, we going to convert user voice commands into words and machine perform tasks based on keyword from those converted texts. After performing the task the result is converted into speech using gtts(Google Text-to-Speech) library.
Create a new python file with .py extension.
First import all the required package
import speech_recognition as sr from gtts import gTTS import playsound import os
Now will create a listen() function which converts the voice received from microphone into text.
def listen(): r = sr.Recognizer() with sr.Microphone() as source: print("I am listening..") audio = r.listen(source,phrase_time_limit = 10) data="" try: data = r.recognize_google(audio,language='en-US') print("You said:"+data) except sr.UnknownValueError: print("I cannot hear you") except sr.RequestError as e: print("Request Failed") return data
After listening, there should be a response, so will create a respond() function.
def listen(): print(String) tts = gTTS(text=String,lang="en") tts.save("Speech.mp3") playsound.playsound("Speech.mp3") os.remove("Speech.mp3")
Then we need to create our Virtual Assistant. It checks the pattern using if conditions and performs the set of instructions inside the if body.
def voice_assistant(data): if "Who are you" in data: listening = True respond("I am your assistant") if "how are you" in data: listening = True respond("I am well") try: return listening except UnboundLocalError: print("TimedOut-->Re-Launch")
After creating all the required functions, we need to call those functions.
time.sleep(2) respond("Hello, What can I do for you?") listening = True while listening == True: data = listen() #calling the listen() listening = voice_assistant(data)
Now you can modify the responses and also can build more interactions in voice_assistant() function.
After this run file by opening command prompt
Now let us make our virtual assistant to tell the current date and time So for that, we are importing time module
import time from time import ctime
Now add the below if condition in voice_assistant() function
if "time" in data: listening = True respond(crime())
Get the full code here
Try to increase the lively interactions with virtual assistant using more if conditions.
If any doubts feel free to comment down.
Stay tuned to know more what else our virtual assistant can do.