Ghost Machine / Unhelpful Assistant (cross w/ IS)


What Are You Making: A google home assistant that refuses to assist you because it is busy doing something else that does not concern you.

What Are You Answering: What are some limitations found in the google home device, and how can you work with them or around them?

Technology Stack: I’m using, flask-assistant, APScheduler (or another such utility). All in Python. The first version will run locally. After that I will probably push everything to Heroku where it will run as a server side headless process.

User Experience: If its a gallery setting – One google home sits alone on a table muttering to itself. Maybe it has a pin light. It does this on its own on a rest / wake cycle, until interrupted. The user can ask it things like “Hey google! What’s the weather like?” but it will ignore them and continue muttering to itself. After 3 interruptions (currently), the google home tells the user to go away in some rude manner, and continues on its way (I’m not good at making flow charts, but I will eventually have a narrative chart of some kind by the end).

Still To Work On: Getting it to remember some contexts (ie: the more you interrupt it the more upset it gets). Working on proper polling. Better tell offs. A time out rather than an re-invocation to continue in the help and interrupts.

Limitations so far: You do have to respond to it after its told you off to get it to continue, also after help. Working on this to be more of a timeout to go back to looping. Hey Google invocation will always interrupt. Currently figuring out how to do polling. Right now its just re-shuffling a very long response, which means it will run out and stop speaking at some point. You still have to launch it, there’s no getting around that one.

Video: This is a first shot at making an unhelpful assistant.

Future Notes: I’d really like to work the Hue lights into this. So that it makes them flickr, or be weird when its muttering.