Designed and built BATCH, a platform that utilized automated telephone calls and speech recognition technology to acquire large disparate data sets.
Dates: May 2012 - March 2013
Team: Scott Dombkowski, Michael Wang, Christopher Reid, Yueran Yuan, and Faiz Abbasi
BATCH was my senior year Information Systems project and an offshoot of ConsciousQ. A member of the ConsciousQ team and I brought together a team which included an additional Information System major, a Computer Science major, and a Human-Computer Interaction major. The platform was aimed at providing similar information to what ConsciousQ provided but at a significantly larger number of locations. BATCH utilized automated telephone calls and speech recognition technology to acquire large disparate data sets. Hypothetically, we would be able to call thousands of businesses or individuals and acquire specific pieces of data from them through speech recognition technology.
Initially, we targeted sit-down restaurants that typically had long waits and attempted to customize the platform so that it would automatically call the restaurant, ask them a set of recorded questions, translate their responses through speech recognition technology, and utilize the collected information to display restaurant wait times on our application. If we were successful, we would have been able to call thousands of restaurants at the same time and acquire all of their wait times at once. We would eventually utilize the historical data we had gathered to provide accurate wait times without regular automated phone calls.
While building out the platform, we discovered a number of limitations of the speech recognition technology available to us including its inability to deal with the variation of responses we received from restaurants. While experiencing these difficulties, we connected with an alumnus who was a life science venture capitalist. He convinced some members of the team to pursue an opportunity to implement our technology in the medical services world. We eventually decided to stop moving forward with BATCH due to our inability to create the platform we initially had in mind and the time it took away from our studies.
- Researched restaurants and their lines/wait times. This included interviewing numerous restaurants owners and managers, calling approximately one thousand restaurants, collecting restaurants’ answers to our questions, and testing different pre-recorded messages on restaurants.
- Led the project in a project management role. This included constructing weekly status reports and tracking our development efforts.
- Assisted with the software development.