October 9, 2006
UARC researcher takes part in NextFest program
Beth Ann Hockey, a visiting professor of linguistics, was invited
to participate in a special program at NextFest, the four-day
technology festival organized by Wired magazine.
Project scientist Beth Ann Hockey
leads a diverse team of researchers collaborating on the Clarissa project
at NASA Ames.
Hockey, a researcher at the University Affiliated Research
Center (UARC) at NASA Ames, leads NASA's Clarissa project to
develop a voice-activated computer program that talks astronauts
through complicated procedures in space.
Performing complex tasks in zero gravity is no easy feat, and
flipping the pages of a manual or scrolling through online instructions
only adds to the difficulties. Clarissa reads instructions to
astronauts and responds to spoken commands. The spoken-dialogue
system is one of many NASA projects being carried out through
the UARC partnership between UCSC and NASA Ames Research Center.
Hockey and astronaut Stephanie Wilson gave a demonstration
of Clarissa as part of the "Dr. Next" show for students
during the NextFest education day. Clarissa was also featured
along with other interactive exhibits in the NASA pavilion at
the NextFest event. NextFest took place in New York from September
29 to October 1 and was attended by more than 30,000 people.