Monday, August 19, 2013

An ebook with embedded Artificial Intelligence

I‘ve just finished my first ebook using the (relatively) new epub version 3 format and it’s amazing what can be done. In fact, you can do almost all what can be done with HTML5 including complex Javascript programs.
My project is to create a series of ebooks about my favorite subjects in science: complexity, evolution, artificial intelligence, etc. And you know what? I have decided to put a lot of technology in that project. The idea is to use Artificial Intelligence inside an ebook to help people learn…
My first book will be on “How works a Computer”, because I realized that many people, even sometime junior programmers (!), don’t know how a microprocessor executes machine code, its basic principle, who invented it and when. In the ebook I have integrated a “lab” which is basically a simulator of a microprocessor. So people will be able not only to learn but also to experiment directly in the ebook!
At the end, instead of a classical quiz, you will find an intelligent conversational agent. You can chat with it for fun, but you can also try to answer questions about what you have learned and the agent will evaluate your level.
For that project, I have used the first Javascript implementation of my EVA (Evolutionary Virtual Agent) technology. The unexpected point was that an ebook does not enable you to integrate HTML text inputs and thus, for example, the iPad virtual keyboard will never appear... Too bad. Well, it takes me only few hours to fix that problem by programming from scratch a new virtual keyboard using HTML5. I’m now in the phase of testing everything and fix details…
The ebook will be soon online on Keep tuned.