So I have amazing news!  I was able to use some code from Carnegie Mellon University to do something pretty cool.  I made a video:

I know it’s pretty rudimentary.  It’s just speech recognition and speech synthesis, but I think it’s really cool!  This system doesn’t use the internet or cloud to do the speech recognition, it processes it on the desktop.  It has a few issues, for instance, it has some difficulty discerning the word ‘song’.  You have to speak evenly and very clearly for it to understand you.

The nice thing is that the speech recognition software is purpose fit to run on an embedded system, like the BeagleBone Black or Raspberry Pi.  This is great news, but the greater news is that this is all programmable.  I hand compiled the various libraries and now have access to them through various programming means.  This means I have control on a programming level of the various algorithms.

For instance, I can set the speech recognizer to only listen for a particular phrase before processing audio fully.  This frees stuff up and reduces the noise processing.  Right now it processes everything that it hears, which is kind of slow and isn’t feasible.  It’s also very sensitive, when Maus types across the room it picks it up.

One funny thing though, and I told Maus that I’d get to tell my future robot friend this story, but one of the words it picks up on when listening to random noise is ‘shhh’ and ‘fuck’.  I’m not sure how to take that.

I’m hoping I can program an extensible system so that I can get it to learn new words by a voice interface.  I’d have it learn different people’s voices, but unfortunately the library I’m using doesn’t have that ability yet.  I also want to see if I can eventually replace the voice with something a little more robotic that I create.  I’m thinking something like Teddy from the movie A.I.

That’s the best thing, that it’s accessible through programming.  This is very powerful in my hands because I potentially do all sorts of things on a fundamental level rather than having to use a total ‘black box’ program with a set GUI interface.

On another note, I met with my nurse practitioner today.  It was interesting because my last encounter with her was rife with complications.  I believe I wrote about it on here.  But this time it was much more enjoyable. She was more open, more accessible, and more friendly, and that helps a lot.  I thought, “I can work with this.”  Her friendliness actually reminded me of Carol, so things are good.

However, she wants to change my medication again.  I’m okay with this, mostly.  She wants to continue lowering my lamotrigine, but at the same time increase my olanzapine 2.5 mg to 10 mg.  The only issue with this is the olanzapine makes it very difficult to wake up in the morning.  I have always had a lot of trouble with waking up in the morning.  It’s a very important medication though since it’s an anti-psychotic.

The only thing that got me kind of disturbed, but only very slightly, was that she said my listed diagnosis wasn’t justifying my selected medications.  She said I was listed as mood disorder NOS, and anxiety NOS.  I’m not sure how NOS (not otherwise specified) doesn’t justify almost any combination of medication, but apparently, it doesn’t.  I told her my history of mood disturbance, transformation, and all my previous diagnoses.

She says she’s putting my diagnosis down as Borderline Personality Disorder.  Whew!  That was a surprise.  She says my history of multiple issues, disturbances that present in varied ways over time, in addition to my ability to disassociate is very indicative of Borderline.  I never really care much about my diagnoses.  They can put whatever they want, as long as I get the proper medication.  But it is a bit strange, thinking that somewhere out there a doctor thinks I officially have a personality disorder.

I’m not sure how a personality can be disordered though when I think about it.  It makes it sound like I don’t belong in society in a way, because my personality doesn’t match the common idea of a healthy personality.  Who determines what a healthy personality is?  I guess turmoil and issues in your life that are a hindrance count.  It’s just a strange thing to think about.

Speaking of anti-psychotics, I’ve been doing very well in Spanish I and Drawing III.  It turns out that I’m one of only a couple of her most advanced students (at least in terms of classroom experience).  She wants to hang my piece I did about moving into the room in an actual gallery!  It’ll be about teacher/mentor relationships, so it’ll hang next to a piece of hers.  That’s awesome!

I also showed her the piece I made on the computer out of photos I took of Old Town, the one I want to use as a basis motif for my adventure game.  Unfortunately, it’s only in the resolution of an iPhone 5s, but at least on the iPhone, it looks pretty good! She asked me how many of these I’ve made, and I told her I just started, but I’m interested in making more.  She said I should really do it, she found them very interesting and would be interested to see where that kind of composition and thinking could go.

In my last Drawing III class, we were experimenting with different marks using charcoal and pastel.  How different shaped marks, different forces, slow/fast, small/large, chaotic/ordered, can communicate different ideas.  She would say one word and we’d draw some markings expressing that word.  One of the words she said was ‘agitated’.  I, unfortunately, didn’t catch any of the images on my iPhone, but it was interesting.

There’s a person in my class that’s a little different.  He’s also very large, which makes me kind of nervous.  Some of the things he expresses are a little odd.  Well, at one point he said, “Some of us know what it agitation feels like more than others.”  I muttered, “I think everyone knows what it means to be agitated.”  The professor heard me, but he didn’t.  If he’s reading this, I stand by it.

In Drawing I’m having to write an Artist Statement.  It’s very difficult!  I have to do some revisions that she wrote down and get it to be more clear.  Before I wrote the rough draft I had to do some ‘freewriting’.  In my freewriting, I touched very briefly upon my experiences having atypical psychosis.  I decided I should explain myself a little bit to the professor, emphasizing that things are doing much better now and that I’ve been very stable so it’s not scary.  She was very understanding.

The only other thing is that Spanish I is interesting.  When I took Conversational Spanish the professor encouraged us to not take notes.  She demonstrated in the first class that if we take notes we’ll get confused and distracted and not remember things as well by the pace of the class.  So, in this class, I watch everybody take notes, and I write some stuff in my book too, but I don’t take notes as they do.  It’s kind of funny.  I just pay full attention, and it works.

So, all in all, things are going pretty well.

photo credit: Dresden Codak: Hob (fragment) via photopin (license)

Asher Wolfstein

Metaverse Resident

About the Author

A metaverse resident, you can find me on Second Life (kadar.talbot) and other online platforms. I write about my digital life, my musings, and my projects as a programmer, webmaster, artist, and game designer. (exist (be wunk) (use rational imagination) (import artist coder maker furry) (conditional (if (eq you asshole) (me (block you))))

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