Luis found the START project that is a great fit to the Beehive project.
The START project parses natural language questions and returns the answer in text and pictures. The user interface of START is simple but clear. A user can type question like "How far is Boston from Malawi?", and START returns "The distance between Boston, Massachusetts and Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, is 7,624 miles (12,297 kilometers)." in one second. Moreover, when there is a typo, START will list possible words for users to choose.
This will definitely help students at Beehive school to learn English and new knowledge at the same time.
Luis and our team met Dr. Katz, the START project leader, today to discuss the possibility to integrate START into Beehive project.
Currently, the START is running on Linux machines in CSAIL lab, and there is only one one-box model built by the START team. The one-box server is used by military and we are not allowed to duplicate that box. Dr. Katz said they can provide us instructions to build another one-box machine. He is interested in getting students to work on this and write some papers. Dr. Katz estimated that the project may need several months, but they can give us the API to build prototype to talk to the local server for our ICT4D project demo in May.
The biggest challenge in today's meeting is that we need to get funding for labor, schedule and hardware cost. When Justin is back, we will have a meeting to have further discussion on integrating START into our project.