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Introducing a Virtual Assistant to the Lab: A Voice User Interface for the Intuitive Control of Laboratory Instruments.

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Introducing a Virtual Assistant to the Lab: A Voice User Interface for the Intuitive Control of Laboratory Instruments.

SLAS Technol. 2018 Jul 01;:2472630318788040

Authors: Austerjost J, Porr M, Riedel N, Geier D, Becker T, Scheper T, Marquard D, Lindner P, Beutel S

Abstract
The introduction of smart virtual assistants (VAs) and corresponding smart devices brought a new degree of freedom to our everyday lives. Voice-controlled and Internet-connected devices allow intuitive device controlling and monitoring from all around the globe and define a new era of human-machine interaction. Although VAs are especially successful in home automation, they also show great potential as artificial intelligence-driven laboratory assistants. Possible applications include stepwise reading of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and recipes, recitation of chemical substance or reaction parameters to a control, and readout of laboratory devices and sensors. In this study, we present a retrofitting approach to make standard laboratory instruments part of the Internet of Things (IoT). We established a voice user interface (VUI) for controlling those devices and reading out specific device data. A benchmark of the established infrastructure showed a high mean accuracy (95% ± 3.62) of speech command recognition and reveals high potential for future applications of a VUI within the laboratory. Our approach shows the general applicability of commercially available VAs as laboratory assistants and might be of special interest to researchers with physical impairments or low vision. The developed solution enables a hands-free device control, which is a crucial advantage within the daily laboratory routine.

PMID: 30021077 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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