Category: NTNM Assignments

CB Garrett — Assignment 3 — Chatbots

For my chatbot, I made a chatbot that goes through some of my life. I tried to incorporate some of my past and present life, detailing some of my college life, family, favorite food, contact information etc. The problem it tries to solve I guess would be a college student that is hopefully bringing in tons of job interest and the employers reach out to check my Facebook page to try and learn more about me. I think this is actually a pretty cool tool, but am not sure if it is practical on the small scale. For bigger businesses that have thousands or more of people having questions or complaints, it makes sense. For an individual person like myself, there is a lot of work to go into to building the bot for the fact that I will not get very many messages. Because of this it is easier to just respond to the messages than to work on building out the bot to make it respond to as many things as possible. I also learned that your words need to be spot on in the AI section of the bot, as if there are some spelling mistakes it struggles a little.

The link to the facebook page where I deployed the bot is below.

S Brand Chat Bot

In my senior year of high school, I was tasked of completing a final senior project. I decided to partner up with my friend, Skyler and together we created S Brand. S Brand was our baby. We design bucket hats with emojis on the tops. The hats were sold to the student body and all proceeds went to the class fund. I decided to create a chat bot for this part business of mine, as I figured it would serve a a great purpose in informing the public of the status of our company. The chat bot will also inform the public about some basic information about its founders.

The process of creating this chat bot was fun and I want to continue to make more. I think that recruiters will enjoy seeing this chat bot on my website.

Here is a link to my bot. Enjoy!

First 3D Model

Hi, this is my first 3D model of my lipgloss. I think there is so much potential for 3D model story telling in journalism and other communications fields. As a PR major, I can see brands using this type of interactive visual story telling to help introduce a new product. If consumers cannot make it out to the store to see the product in person, then they can experience the product through the 3D model.

A bit rough, but it’s a start.

Minkewicz – Field Test

Sarah Minkewicz

            For my field test I decided to use the technology we learned of the Facebook Bot. I’m going to attempt to create a bot that will give you up to date information and news on what past alums who have graduated from Newhouse are up to, where they worked before and how you can get in contact with them. For the reporters I also want to include links of some of their work and maybe social media accounts, and if the station they are working at has any job openings. I’m not sure this is even going to work and I have my doubts but I really want to give this a shot.

            The main purpose for this robot is to help connect people looking to network for a possible job.

            I haven’t tried embedding links to the robot so I think I’m going to start there. I think the easiest think would be embedding links from new websites and the bios of any alums that work there. That way it would have the ability to send to the person talking to it up to date information even if it can’t exactly to them what’s going on it self. Also from that point the user can navigate through those links and find what it wants in cases where the bot becomes on responsive.

            I know there are Newhouse people all over the place so I think I’m going to start by looking up people who are working in Syracuse. For time purposes and because there’s a lot of bios to look into, I’m keeping it to Channel 9, CNY Central and Spectrum News. I might throw in the radio stations but I’m not sure yet.

            After about an hour of going through people’s bios I finally got through the whole list! I knew there were Newhouse people working in Syracuse, but I found a lot more than I thought I would. I probably pulled about 20 names for those 3 different stations.

            Just finished adding in everyone’s bios that I found. I also threw in some normal conversation ques to make the robot a little more interactive. Right now I think it’s a good time to test out the bot and see how others respond to it and if I need to make some more adjustments.

            One down side to this Bot that I didn’t consider until now is that it’s going to have to be updated every few months because people might not work at those stations anymore. Another downside I found while creating this bot is that although I list what reporters work where, I did have info for the people that work behind the scenes, such as producers.

            Over all I think the bot serves it’s function on a simple level. If anything it takes the time away from having to look at all the bios of the reporters in the area to see which ones graduated from Newhouse. Adding their individual contact information was a lot more difficult then I thought it would be. For the people that tested out the bot it just didn’t seem to work out too well. Perhaps it was information over load. I might consider working on this some more because I think it does have great potential of being a resource for people looking to reach out to Newhouse people and make that networking connection.

Here’s the link to the Bot for you to check out!



Minkewicz Vision Paper

Sarah Minkewicz

New Tech for New Media final paper

The Rise of Alexa 3000

It’s the year 2050 and if you think you could pick up a newspaper and coffee and be on your way you’re wrong. Not that you would mind much anyways because people haven’t been reading on paper for quite some time now. Besides was it ever really efficient to carry both your coffee and a paper while walking and reading? Probably not.

Every one and everything uses technology and with Alexa 3000 that’s all you need.

The first model came out a few years ago, and at first I was unsure if I wanted to make the investment in one. Amazon was still working out some technical problems with the model, and to be honest it was a little out of my price range. Total cost of $1,000 and you had to pay an annual fine of $150 a year for software updates. It all seemed excessive to me. However, more and more people were purchasing them. So I made the investment.

Morning routines are typically planned out with a specific schedule. Watching or reading news stories in the morning can help people catch up with the latest stories and add talking points throughout the day, but the opportunity to sit down to absorb the news is something that busy Americans cannot afford and this is where technology comes in.

Contrary to the iconic, traditional image of the average American family sitting down to eat breakfast together, mothers and fathers are busier than ever and in this day and age unrealistic. Morning is not the time of day when people browse through the newspaper or have a living room discussion about current events; morning is an overload.

Responsive AI devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa 300, brings the news back into one’s morning with no real delays or changes to the typical morning routine, and I’ll talk about the consequences of this a little later.

These devices can load and display top stories and current events with a simple, “Show me today’s news” command. Amazon’s Alexa 3000 can even play audio recordings of news stories or live streams of some news services.

Convenience is key with Al, and these devices are certainly convenient for the hectic schedules of most Americans.

So your probably wondering how any of this is even possible? Well, Alexa 3000 uses sensors to track EVERYTHING. What people are saying and when they’re saying it, and what news is going on the second it happens. Eliminating any news job that ever was. We no longer turn on the T.V. if a natural disaster occurs you can turn to Alexa and ask her what’s going on and she will give you a full report right then and there. Most importantly it’s accurate. With all this debate about fake news, Amazon thought it was important to invest in technology that would eliminate this stigma that comes around with sharing information. They nailed it. Unfortunately they took my job out in that process. Did I forget to mention that’s why I didn’t want to invest in this technology?

I never thought a piece of technology would be able to effectively tell stories the way newsmakers can. After all, a T.V. reporter has to interview, shoot and write most news stories. But this technology allows Alexa 3000 to already see everything that’s happening and capture it. The technology is even able to get interviews with those involved in the events and stories, most of whom are willing to talk anyways. Many of them expressed relief in talking to a piece of technology then a person, because like almost everyone, they also owned an Alexa 3000.

As I mentioned before, this technology provides a service that people can rely on for information. However, relying on that convenience impacts journalism in traditional media sources. If someone chooses to consume news stories through an AI service in the morning, that individual may decide not to turn on the local news station after returning from work. Moreover, continued reliance on an AI device’s service may breed familiarity and fondness for that specific style. Similar to how people may grow to love their station’s news anchors and reporters, Alexa 3000 is now that fond, familiar voice–ready to report on the latest news at any moment the user requests it. If you didn’t grow up with this type of technology, you might find yourself like me and think this whole thing is weird. However, it’s now the norm and something even I have to get used to.

Let’s switch gears and take a little bit about how this technology functions. So when you want to know something you basically ask Alexa 3000 and she projects all the information for you in a virtual screen that you can interact with. Here you’re able to read articles, watch news stories, and see what others on social media are saying. We no longer need the service of a reporter or journalist, and because of that those jobs and mine are no more.

I’ve considered working for the giant corporation Amazon, but I’m so bitter about how everything turned out I’m not sure I can. Plus I would have to go back to school and learn a whole new skill set. I’m torn.

So here I am jobless, and clueless. Others have found the transition to be a smooth one, Mainly those working in the government and technology. Those two go hand in hand nowadays. There are even laws being passed that force you to own an Alexa 3000 otherwise you can face multiple fines and jail time until you do. One for each household, that’s the rule. Crazy to think that something that started as a feature to help male like become more simple would turn into something that’s more involved in your life than anything else. The argument is that it makes life easier, and yes it does, but when is it too much? To have technology listening to your every word and following your every move and not having control of that is toomuch in my opinion. There’s even an Alexa 3000 in public bathrooms!! I mean come on that’s over kill. I mean it knows when you’re in the bathroom at home so I suppose it’s not different. What information can you possible gain and use from that? To each their own I guess.

The other day I was having a conversation with my mother about why she favors Alexa 3000 and she made some valid points. She needs help getting ready in the morning, and because Alexa 3000 is a full on person pretty much, it’s able to help my mom get dressed and ready for the day. It also helps my mom with grocery shopping and balancing her checkbook, weird concept right? These small tasks take a lot of pressure off of my mom who sometimes can’t remember where she left her car keys. Oh did I mention Alexa 3000 drives my mom to the store as well. I guess without this technology my mom would have to relay on her children and family members to help her with these basic needs. This is something her children can’t do for her because everyone of her five children live in different countries and aren’t able to move because of their jobs. That I can get and I agreed with her, and just for the record I was in town visiting so don’t think of me as someone who can’t help my own mother… Even though now that I’m unemployed I can… Alright maybe I should rethink some life choices. All in all though she’s pretty comfortable with her set up and I think at this point she’s very used to it. I could always ask her if she’d want my help but I think she’s turn my offer down giving me some reason that the technology is more efficient and can do anything I can do better and faster. She’s most likely right about that. Even my own Alexa 3000 runs my errands that I either don’t want to do or find I don’t have enough time to do myself. Who am I to argue with my mom about something that even I do myself? Seems kind of pointless because with all the points she made, she’s very much right. We are all reliable on this technology to get us through the day and without it we would feel completely lost.

I can see this technology continuing to take over more and more careers. As well as completing every day tasks effortlessly. While I see the benefits to investing in this technology I can’t help but miss those days where we as people were more independent and worked for many of the things we wanted. Where we took the time to research what was going on in the world and come up with our own opinions and conclusions. Not have a piece of machinery constantly feed us information that we have to take at face value because we don’t have any other choice. We were once thinkers and innovators and go doers and that’s been washed down quite a bit. Is efficiency worth it if it means sacrificing those basic human instincts to be curious and learn more? I don’t think so.

This concludes my rant. I’m going to go job hunt now.



Nikon Keymission 360 vs Samsung Gear 360 Low Light Field Test-Grant Albee

Because I took both VR Storytelling and NTNM, I have gotten a lot of time with a few 360 cameras. The two cameras we most frequently use are the Samsung Gear 360 and the Nikon Keymission 360. I decided to test which of these works better in low light situations, in addition to just comparing the two looks of the shots.

I took the two cameras and pressed record on both cameras at 8:10 pm in my backyard. Comparing the two side by side I found that the Nikon picture has a blue tint and does not process the contrast between the sky and the ground well. The Samsung colors are consistent and it handles the lighting much better than the Nikon. Though it was simple test I think it could be useful information for classes going forward. If I could do the experiment again, I would have also recorded in bright sunlight however it has been super cloudy for a week now.

Given that there is a newer Gear 360 out for almost half the price that the Keymission goes for, my conclusion is that the Gear is the much better deal.


Field test Tony Yao

As for my field test, I wanted to know whether amazon voice recognition system can actually recognize real human voice instead of some computer generated voice. Let’s see what it happens when it heard of computer generated voices


Test methodology

What I wanted to know is that is machine-generated voices can be recognized and how accurate can they be. To comparison, I have chosen XXX types of computer generated voice systems. Which include:

Also, by recognizing “Alexa” is not enough for this test. I will also try to make it understand longer sentences like “what’s the weather today?” or “Do you know how to make a chocolate brownie?” To see if machine generated voice (which are obvious to us that it is fraud) can be detected by Amazon Echo.

During the test, I realize that if the sentence is too short. Alexa may not be able to recognize the sentence. That’s why I added “Errr” between “Alexa”(the trigger word) and the sentence itself.

I will use my own voice to get an answer so that if Alexa can recognize it, it will reply with the same answer.


Test results

Comparison group:

Human Voice saying “Alexa, What’s the weather today” and “Alexa, Do you know how to make a chocolate brownie?”

Google translate

Amazon echo is able to recognize google translate voices at all time.

Baidu translate

Amazon echo can recognize What’s the weather today but not able to recognize a longer sentence.

Amazon echo is able to recognize voices at all time.

Acapela group

Amazon echo is able to recognize Acapela group voices at all time.



The more human-like voice will have a better chance to fool Amazon Echo system that it is actually a person talking to it. A more machine like sentence can trigger Echo but it is not able to recognize the whole sentence.

I did this field test was totally for fun at the same time. Amazon Echo is a good helper to our everyday life. However, I also recognize some of the safety issues this might generate. If a human can fake his voice and get recognized by Amazon Echo, then he or she may have the ability to fake his presence at home even though he is not actually there. This kind of security issues can be serious if Amazon Echo can’t be able to tell who is actually talking to it.

Voice recognition system still has a long way to go, but I believe that human intelligence will solve all that problems and bring true convenience to our life.

Vision paper Tony Yao

A Journalist’s dairy


Another ‘new’ day of my life.

My supervisor Johnny told me to interview some of the handmake cloth companies in China. Come on, who knows about those hand-make clothes anymore. After the launch of Amazon look around 5 years ago, people has long been controlled by this ‘fancy’ clothing guide machine.

Human kind is becoming lazier and lazier. All those convenient AR stuff has cut all human’s ability to use their mind to a lowest level ever! Nobody is trying to find a cloth at a store, they all ordered online and try them out with a fancy AR mirror. No more searching, all you have to do is ask Alexa and everything is done. What a lazy world it is!

Luckily, there are still somebody working on traditional clothing art. The couple I interviewed today never sell their cloth on a fancy clothing website. Their opinion is customers should try before buying a new cloth because they can’t feel the cloth when they buy them online.

I am so worried that one day human may lose their ability to decide and feel the world due to these fancy technologies but they are convenient for sure. Oh, shit, Alexa is warning me to sleep right now. To have a health body, these voice recognition system is doing some good.



Today, our last camera man quit his job and our company became one of the “auto” tv channels in this country. This guy, Egzon, has been a single camera man for the past year and we had some great footages. The problem is, we don’t really need a camera man anymore. Egzon gets paid so few that even he is a single guy without a greedy living style can’t live on this salary anymore.

The problem comes four to five years ago when wearable and portable cameras gone viral and even a 5-years kid can take a good picture and great shoots of video without even learning. All those drones and automatic staff fulfill people’s need for a memory saving machine but also cut out people’s passion on actually get some complex picture taking done.

This goes worse when amazon got their first ever auto wearable 360 cameras online. With the capability of shooting all around you with a 16k definition, there is no need to bring a camera with you anymore. All pictures and videos can be shoot automatically and it is impossible to make any human mistakes such as missing the scene or losing focus. To a TV company like us, a single investment in a machine is much better to keep all those camera staff working.

Egzon is a good guy. He is just not born in a good time when you can still make money with you excellent filming skills. May be he can still make this one of his hobbies but there is no space for him in the company.

What a shame.

P.S. May be one day I will also be cut out because they might no longer need a journalist anymore. Who knows.



I can’t remember when is the last time I have to drive a car myself.

Self-driving cars are easy to use, much safer than human drivers and helps to prevent traffic jams. With these technology boost 2 years ago. I no longer drive any more. Am I kind of missing the passion and joy when I can drive myself?

I interviewed a car manufacture today and they are saying that next year they might cut the human emergency driving function out. Jimmy, the CEO of VW, announce that with great excitement.

“We are safer than ever!”

What about the joy once we have?

Driving a car was so much fun but it is illegal right now to prevent car crashes and traffic jams. With all those sensors input and connected to cloud, the traffic is certainly more liquid but getting from one place to another is lacking fun.

I can still remember the days when I can feel the vibration of my steering wheel. I can still remember the passion when I turn into corners. I can still remember the joy when I first change my brakes.

Now it’s all gone.

No more human drivers- as the law says.

The only “human” driver you can see is from racing competitions while they are not actually driving anymore while sitting in a small cockpit and remotely control their cars. What’s the point!

The technology is developing with the cost of our joyfulness, so what’s the point of that?



Worst birthday ever.

I lost my job because the company decide to use drones to took our jobs. All they need is 5 people sitting in the room all day to cover all the news online and interview others using drones.

It is not unpredictable.

Last time when I was attending a government conference, they all use drones. All this big news rooms, I am the only human. The secretary of the home security didn’t show up. She sent her drones. All the major tv companies didn’t show up, they sent their drones.

That was a terrible experience. All you can hear is the spin of fans and you are the only one who has to get paper based materials.

I love my job and I think that there is a purpose to get face to face with another people and hear from them what they truly think and their facial expressions are the most satisfactory moment during each conversation.

I feel alive.

But humanity can’t beat money. Well, in each ways. AI is taking control. They are much cheaper and they don’t make mistakes.

Guess it is time for us to leave the stage.

Or the human kind as well?









Seven days after this dairy.

AI take over and erase human kind.

The End.

NTNM Assignment 5 Tony Yao

In my opinion, a lot of sensors can be used as tools for outdoor survival uses. Temperature sensors can tell whether you should put on a fire or take off extra clothes. The weather meters can be used to predict extreme weathers in order to keep you safe. Flex sensors can be placed into you tent so that when its flexibility reach certain extent it can warn you about possible danger. Heart rate sensors can be used for health condition check and send signals when necessary. Force sensors can be used as alarm systems to avoid deadly wild animals. pH sensor kit can be used for water supply.

These sensors on Sparkfun are extremely small so that it is possible to combine them together for an ultimate survival tool that is reliable and life-saving.

Sensor Idea–Grant

On SparkFun I found a sensor called the Scanse Sweep. The Scanse Sweep has 360 degree scanning capability with a range of up to 40 meters and a sample rate of 1000 per second.

My idea to tell a story is to stick a 360 camera at an average persons height, on top of a motorized dolly car which is attached to the Scanse Sweep. The idea is that the Scanse Sweep will sense objects around it and pause or change direction if something or someone is in the way. I envision this being a fun way to capture an event like a party, wedding, reception. Being able to relive a party basically as an average bystander without having to hide or walk with a 360 camera could be really useful if the software is good. Maybe it could be dressed up as R2-D2 or some other well known robot. In addition to being a practical way to capture video it would look so cool and futuristic to have a robot at a party.