ROCKIT is a strategic roadmapping project for research and innovation in the area of natural conversational interaction. The primary scientific focus concerns interactive agents which are proactive, multimodal, social, and autonomous. A second focus concerns systems which can extract and exploit rich context and knowledge from heterogenous data sources.
The main goal of ROCKIT is the development of a Research and Innovation Roadmap which integrates the vision and innovation agendas of those organisations (concerned with R&D and exploitation) in the field across Europe, with a broad coverage across sectors. A key goal is to bring together public sector research organisations with commercial organisations at all scales, with a particular focus on SMEs that represent the majority of fragmented commercial activity in Europe.
A key aspect of ROCKIT will be to organise a European research and innovation community in the area of conversational interaction technologies, integrating a wide-range of commercial organisations with application and use links to the area. ROCKIT will be structured around a set of sector-based clusters including mobile applications, healthcare, education, games, broadcast media, robotics, law enforcement, and security.
Research and Innovation Scenarios
As part of the strategic roadmapping action in the area of multimodal conversational interaction technologies, ROCKIT has arrived at a set of five target research and innovation scenarios , presented here. These scenarios represent a number of common themes arising from the workshops organized uring the process: accessibility, multilinguality, the importance of design, privacy by design, systems for all of human–human, human–machine, and human–environment interactions, robustness, security, potentially ephemeral interactions, and using the technology to enable fun.
IndieGogo startup Jibo has announced an SDK for developing applications, a.k.a. skills, for its “social robot” for the home, which will target entertainment, education, and IoT integration. Jibo is an attempt to create a robot that can interact with its environment by recognizing people voices and faces, speaking up and showing them visual content, and moving its parts, which include a “chest” and a “head”.
Sherpa (Spain) is filling an interesting niche in the market that most English speakers might not even realise exists: many of the interesting evolutions in AI and natural language processing have been focused on English applications, leaving large swathes of the non-English speaking world without the same kinds of services. Uribe- Etxebarria notes that while some apps do have Spanish versions they are basic.