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 chatbot takes this technology and applies it to create an interactive learning tool for people to find out more about the history of the White House and the job of the president. The WHHA Education department, working with the Digital Library team and Amazon Web Services, has created a prototype of the interactive chatbot to showcase what's possible with the Lex services in a web-based form. Beyond questions and answers, the chatbot also includes fun quizzes to test your knowledge of the history of the White House and the presidency.
The current phase of the chatbot is only the beginning. Additional content will be added over time, and the entire content package will be made available on every Alexa-enabled device, thanks to AWS, later in 2018. As Voice-User Interfaces (VUIs) become more and more common, WHHA will be at the forefront of adapting this technology to the education field.