The arrival of voice-recognition technologies like AWS Lex, which powers the Alexa app, is changing how users interact with online content. Moving beyond text-to-speech readers, natural language processing tools like Lex allow content creators to build complex sets of questions and answers that can be used for training, help desk, or other options for website users.
The WHHA History Chatbot and Alexa skill takes this technology and applies it to create interactive learning tools for anyone to find out more about the history of the White House including the people, art, and events that shaped the space. Beyond questions and answers, the chatbot and Alexa skill also includes fun quizzes to test your knowledge of the history of the White House and the presidency. To use on any Alexa device, just enable the skill and ask “Start White House History Guide”.
The Association’s Education department, working with the Digital Library team and Amazon Web Services, developed these tools to showcase what is possible with the Lex services for a historical institution and social studies educators. As Voice-User Interfaces (VUIs) become more and more common, WHHA will be at the forefront of adapting this technology to the education field.