Back in 2012, Facebook and Stanford University introduced their "Open Academy" program. The aim was and still is simple: Give University students an opportunity to work on real open source projects in exchange for University credit - and a ton of valuable experience.
This year, KDE has joined as a mentoring organization with a total of 11 students assigned to work on 3 different projects. One of those projects is Simon's upcoming natural language dialog manager: A system building on the current "Dialog" plugin to enable the creation of advanced spoken dialogs like the ones made popular by Apple's Siri.
Kickoff event at Facebook's headquarters
Three students from the University of Texas at Austin are rising to the challenge: Ben, Eddie and Tom. Guided by both Professor Downing and myself, they will be working on bringing a natural language dialog system to Simon.
Throughout the development process, they will post status update on their respective blogs, which have been aggregated to Planet KDE so do watch out for updates!