CAS Experience: Creating a virtual assistant

In this CAS experience, I developed a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant, also called an AI assistant or digital assistant, is an application program that understands natural language voice commands and completes tasks for the user. Some popular examples of virtual assistants are Siri, Alexa, and Bixby. For this experience, I used the Python programming language. Prior to this experience, I had already used python but it was a long time ago so this experience also helped me brush up my skill and got a lot of insight into this language which I never knew.


Strands Covered: LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

LO1: Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth

In this CAS experience, I was able to identify my strengths and weaknesses, for example, I was able to identify that my coding logic is still really good and I was able to come up with my own logic for development for the main project (virtual assistant) and side projects to brush my python skills, however, whole doing this experience I felt like there are lot of things about python I don’t really know about, like millions of useful libraries. 

LO2: Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills

This CAS experience was a challenge for me because voice command input and output was something I never really did. Most of the time, I used command-based or an HTML-based input and output design but this was a completely different thing than those two. I was able to overcome this challenge with my research skill and find multiple ways to do it and also the most efficient one. Another challenge I faced was regarding libraries, I needed to call and understand different libraries to complete this experience. 

LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

Usually, I am not an organized person but for this project, I wanted to create a checklist from easy projects to the final result step by step. I wanted to learn one thing at one time and not mesh all up. This way I was able to learn more efficiently and in a very effective manner. I also didn’t struggle to initiate this project because coding is something I love so it was not really a big problem for me.  

LO4: Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences

For me personally, it is really hard to commit to things and be persistent. I keep jumping from task to task however this CAS experience was different for me. As I mentioned earlier, I really love coding so when it comes to something I like doing, I don’t usually stop doing it and it was the same case here. I was too into coding, I lost track of time most of the time and would sleep around 3 in the night. I was able to persevere and be committed to this task. 

This CAS experience was a really great experience for me. I was able to brush up on my old coding skills and also learn a lot of things in python. This CAS experience is not related to any of my subjects right now, but in the future, I am planning to take Computer Sciences as a major. For me, the highlight of this experience was definitely the time when I was choosing the wake word/ name of this virtual assistant. I asked a lot of people for suggestions for the name on social media and also in real life and ended up choosing Autumn as the final name. I believe that I was successfully able to create a good virtual assistant which can do basic things like math calculation, give information about famous personalities or events, give the definition of a word, give the temperature of a specific location however one flaw in my virtual assistant is that I was not able to get a library for her to play music from. Most of the music library was paid and the only songs I could play were the ones that I had to manually add so it was of no point. In conclusion, I am glad that I took up this experience and was enlightened about a lot of things.

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