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Growing Up With Nell

Chris, Michael, and I just submitted a short paper describing our work on the XO-3 Nell project to this year's Interaction Design and Children conference. Give the preprint a read: Growing Up With Nell: A Narrative Interface for Literacy [pdf].

We're hard at work implementing Nell. We could use help in a number of areas: art, animation, story, user interface, javascript hacking, and probably others. For example, at the moment Chris and I are: drawing the characters, drawing user interface concepts, writing silly alphabet stories, animating the silly alphabet stories, doing the CSS/HTML layout to mock up designs, making some of the mock ups into functional demos, implementing HMM-based handwriting recognition in JavaScript, porting pyaiml to JavaScript, implementing an Apple Guide-style contextual help system on top of HTML widgets, and writing a integrated story editor (and stories about the story editor). I'd welcome volunteers for any of these tasks!

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Would love to see more of NELL in action. This reminds me of my own paper from way back when I first started my grad school! Different context, but the underlying concept was similar. The "agent" only helps as and when needed. The "decisional guidance" part is of figuring out "as" and "when" is hard though.

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