09 February 2024

BUD-E: Enhancing AI voice assistants' conversational quality, naturalness and empathy

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Members of the ELLIS Institute Tübingen team up with LAION to improve AI voice assistants

AI voice assistants have revolutionized our interaction with technology, answering queries, performing tasks, and making life easier. However, the stilted, mechanical nature of their responses is a barrier to truly immersive conversational experiences. Unlike human conversation partners, they often struggle with fully understanding and adapting to the nuanced, emotional, and contextually rich nature of human dialogue, leading to noticeable latencies and a disjointed conversational flow. Consequently, users often experience unsatisfactory exchanges, lacking emotional resonance and context familiarity.

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a fully open voice assistant that can

  1. reply to user requests in real-time
  2. with natural voices, empathy & emotional intelligence
  3. with long-term context of previous conversations
  4. handling multi-speaker conversations with interruptions, affirmations and thinking pauses
  5. fully local, on consumer hardware.

To realize this vision, LAION teamed up with the ELLIS Institute Tübingen, Collabora and the Tübingen AI Center to build BUD-E (Buddy for Understanding and Digital Empathy).

For more information, please refer to the blog post at laion.ai.