PRE2017 4 Groep7

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0LAUK0 - Group 7

Group Members

- Bas Voermans | 0967153

- Julian Smits | 0995642

- Tijn Centen | 1006867

- Bart van Schooten | 0999971

- Jodi Grooteman | 1006743

- Emre Aydogan | 0902742


The planning can be found here:

Planning PRE2017 4 Groep7

Problem Statement

A Personal assistant (PA) works closely with a person to provide administrative support, this support is usually delivered on a one-to-one basis. A PA helps a person to make the best use of their time because they limit the time spent on secretarial and administrative tasks. unfortunately having the luxury of a personal assistant is reserved for the rich and successful only, this is because of the one-to-one nature and the extensive knowledge usually required to perform PA tasks successfully. Less fortunate people have to take on these tasks themselves costing them time which could be spent on their core business, which can lead to stress and discomfort. The goal of this study is to map current novelties in this field, find new areas of improvement from them and (hopefully) making a prototype, incorporating these improvements, such that it is able to handle almost all the tasks of a PA. Also this prototype would improve itself by learning what each specific user expects from a PA.


Who are the users?

Virtually everybody who would benefit from being relieved of their secretarial and administrative tasks. Of course this is heavily dependent on the accessibility of the service. In this study the focus will lie on students and employees of TU/e.

Requirements of the users

  • Software that could run on their pre-owned devices and that could communicate efficiently with existing TU/e infrastructure.
  • Managing of their agenda(e.g. notifications of upcoming deadlines, lectures, exams)
  • Dealing with incoming messages (e-mail, whatsapp, canvas notifications, ect.) and when desired corresponding in behalf of the student.


To have a more insight in what we want to accomplish we start our project with making a State-of-the-art. By doing this we acquire the knowledge to do a good study on what we want to accomplish. When this is clear we will start making a prototype. And thus implement the results that we got from our research. When this prototype is working we will reflect on the goal of the project, hereby also comes improvement to the prototype.

State of the art research

Voice mail system with personal assistant provisioning[1]

A patent that describes a PA that can be used to keep track of address books and to make predictions on what the user wants to do. The patent also suggests text-to-speech so that the user can listen to, rather than read the response. The PA should also remember previous commands and respond accordingly on related follow-up commands.


The article is about creating models of the users of PA’s and the different domains associated to the user and the PA. The article suggests four different user models, user interest model, user behavior model, inference component and collaboration component. According to the article the user should have the right to change the user model, since ‘the user model can be more accurate with the aid of the user.’ Two approaches are through periodically promoted dialogs or by giving the user the final word.

A Personal Email Assistant[3]

The paper is about Personal Email Assistants (PEA) that have the ability of processing emails with the help of machine-learning. The assistant can be used in multiple different email systems. Some key features of the PEA described in the paper are: smart vacation responder, junk mail filter and prioritization. The team members of the paper found the PEA good enough to be used in daily life.

Rapid development of virtual personal assistant applications[4]

This patent is about creating a platform for development of a virtual personal assistant (VPA). The patent works by having three ‘layers’, first the user interface that interacts with the user. Next is the VPA engine that analyses the user intent and also generates outputs. The last layer is the domain layer that contains domain specific components like grammar or language.

A Softbot-Based Interface to the Internet[5]

The article describes an early version of a PA that is able to interact with files, search databases and interact with other programs. The interface for the Softbot is build on four ideas: Goal oriented, Charitable, Balanced and Integrated. Furthermore, different modules could be created to communicate with the softbot in different ways, like speech or writing.

Socially-Aware Animated Intelligent Personal Assistant Agent[6]

The article describes a Socially-Aware Robot Assistant (SARA) that is able to analyse the user in other ways than normal input, for example the visual, vocal and verbal behaviours. By analysing these behaviours SARA is able to have its own visual, vocal and verbal behaviours. The goal of SARA is to create a personalized PA that, in case of the article, can make recommendations to the visitors of an event.

RADAR: A Personal Assistant that Learns to Reduce Email Overload[7]

This article discusses artificial learning agents that mange an email system. The problem described in the article is that overload of email causes stress and discomfort. A big question remains that it is not sure whether or not the user will accept an agent managing their email system. Nevertheless the agent improved really fast and improved the productivity of the user.

Intelligent Personal Assistant — Implementation[8]

This article does research to the best and most promising current Agents used by the major companies such as apple and microsoft. The conclusion of this paper states that cortana is currently the best working agent in assisting the user.

Intelligent Personal Assistant[9]

This article is about the current by speech driven agents that perform tasks for the user. In the paper this communication would become bi-directional and therefore will the agent respond back to the user. It will also store user preferences to have a better learning capacity.


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