Week 2 - Google AIY kit, "Who Is Lonely Today?"

This week's assignment was to flip things around and play with Speech-to-Text.  I wanted to create a moment using the AIY kit that prompted the user to feel compassion.  Despite Voice UIs sometimes steering you towards speaking in a manner that can feel a bit alienating, perhaps a simple design can counter this via the act of giving voice to an empathetic concern.

I wrote a Python script to scrape Twitter for tweets from today that contain the word lonely and have 0 replies and 0 likes, put them in a JSON file, and then when you ask the AIY Voice Kit "Who is lonely today?" your web browser is opened and taken to one of these randomly chosen valid tweets.  Ideally you heart the tweet and ask a variety of follow up questions: "Who else is lonely today?"  "Who else?"  "And who else?"

By making these tweets a little less lonely, perhaps we have a positive effect on the loneliness of the person behind the tweet too.  Being in literal dialogue with this important social issue is a nice way to use a simple Voice Interface to feel expressive, in that it allows the user to express something out loud and creates an opportunity for them to act.