Jay Taylor's notes

back to listing index

bjoernkarmann/project_alias: Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-

[web search]
Original source (github.com)
Tags: google-home digital-assistant privacy
Clipped on: 2020-01-16

Skip to content
Image (Asset 1/8) alt= You have unread notifications
Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for you.
Python HTML JavaScript CSS
Branch: 2.0
New pull request
Clone or download

README.md

Project Alias 2.0

Image (Asset 4/8) alt=2.0 Features

  • Multiple wake-up words
  • Custom commands to be told to the assistant
  • Change gender and language of Alias
  • Adjust wake-up word sensitivity and delay
  • New wake-up word detection powered by Pocketsphinx

Build Guide

For the complete step-by-step guide and 3D files see our Instructables

Easy Setup

The Alias software can be flashed onto a micro SD card, for a fast and easy setup. Make sure the respeaker hat is attached to the Raspberry Pi.

  1. Download the alias2_0.img file
  2. Use Etcher to flash a micro SD card with the .img file
  3. Insert the micro SD card into the Raspberry Pi 3A+
  4. Power Alias up and wait for the yellow light to glow

We recommend to use the Easy Setup but if you wish to install the project from scratch use the Manual Install instructions.

Start using Alias

  1. Configure your Alias by connecting to its local wifi from your phone.
    ssid: Project Alias psw: cordyceps.

  2. Open a browser and enter the url: alias.local to interface with Alias.

  3. From the interface you can now add new wake-up word / commands or edit existing ones. Save any changes by clicking the Update Alias button. We recommend to experiment with different words and sensitivity levels to find what works best for you.

  4. To configure the settings, click the icon in the upper right corner. Here you can adjust and customize the noise, language, gender, volume and delay. Tip: If you write the full command into alias you can create shortcuts and new functions. E.g. By calling 'Funky Time' you could have Alias whisper 'Ok Google, play some funky music on Spotify'.

Image (Asset 5/8) alt=Settings ⚙️

Setting Description Default
Noise This will turn on/off the looping noise ON
Gender Choose what gender the assistant should perceive when Alias whispers commands. By changing to the opposite gender you will able to introduce false labelling into the assistants algorithm. This confusion might lead to interesting interactions and answers. Note, this only changes the voice of Alias itself, and will therefore only have an effect with long commands. Male
Language Change the language Alias uses to speak to your assistant. This is to introduce another layer of noise that makes the system label you with a different nationality. To use this feature the command for the assistant has to be written in the same language. English
Volume Change the volume of the speakers. This needs to be loud enough for the noise to block the assistant, but low enough not to be audible. Settings can vary by acoustics and ambient inferences. 39
Noise Delay This increase the delay after the wake-up word has been activated to restart the noise again. This is used as a noise free window, when asking the assistant a question. It should be set to match the appropriate time interval needed for the maximum length of a conversation. 10s
Sensitivity This setting changes the sensitivity of the wake-up word detection. This setting is found on the front page for each command. The lower the number the less sensitive. 20

Manual Install

If you wish to build this project manually, you can follow the guide below. We do recommend using the pre installed image linked in the Easy Setup.

RaspberryPi Setup

How to prepare and setup a Raspberry Pi for this project:

  1. Download the latest version of Raspbian Stretch and flash your micro SD card with Etcher

  2. Copy the ssh and wpa_supplicant.conf files from the setup folder to the SD card (boot)

  3. Edit the wpa_supplicant.conf in a text editor to match your wifi settings. Insert the card to the raspberry pi

  4. In terminal ssh into the pi: sudo ssh pi@raspberrypi.local
    Default password is 'raspberry'. To change password use the 'passwd' command

  5. Update the pi: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

  6. Reboot sudo reboot

Installing Dependencies

Note: Some dependencies might very for differen versions. This guide has last been tested and validated on Raspbian Stretch version 9.

On the Rapsberry Pi: Enable interface SPI in raspi-config

raspi-config

Make sure you have python3 and git installed for the next steps:

sudo apt-get install python3-dev python3-pip git libatlas-base-dev

Clone and install the sound driver for the ReSpeaker hat:
– This is only required when using the ReSpeaker hat, this code will also work with other sound drivers.

cd && git clone https://github.com/respeaker/seeed-voicecard.git
cd seeed-voicecard && sudo ./install.sh

Disable default sound card by following this guide

Install pocketsphinx and dependencies

sudo pip3 install spidev
sudo apt-get install -y python python-dev python-pip build-essential swig git libpulse-dev
sudo apt-get install libasound2-dev
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio pulseaudio-utils libpulse-dev libpulse-java libpulse0
sudo pip3 install --upgrade pocketsphinx

Install espeak

sudo apt-get install espeak

Install flask server

sudo pip3 install flask flask_socketio

Install pygame

sudo apt-get install python3-pygame

To install a private network you can follow this guide

Finally clone the Alias project:

git clone https://github.com/bjoernkarmann/project_alias.git

Change assistant

If you are using Google Home or an Amazon Alexa the way you change the wake up word is simply by writing it in the responds field in the Alias web-app

Contributors

Made by Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen

License

This project is licensed under the GPL License - see the LICENSE.GPL file in the root folder