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Some questions for an assistant for a lecture


i am new to Alexa and have some questions. I am doing a project at my university.

It is about bouildung a teaching assistant for a lecture. Right now my plan is that the user is able to play the lectures (audio and/or video), ask content from lecture and access personal information (like grades, tutorial). I did not start implementing yet. I shall inform myself first and give my professor an overwiew.

So these are my questions:

1. The lecture is run on a course management system, where you can log in and see the personal information. We need account linking right? What are the requirements? Is it correct, that the cms of my university has to offer OAuth 2.0 and APIs to access the information?

2. As I implement this skill for my professor. How should/can we do it? If later my professor update something, he does not have access to the development console I used with my account. Also there is the payment information issue (but probably I only use AWS free tier anyway). So should my professor create an own account and give me his log in information, so that I can implement the skill or what is the best way?

Edit: Ok I think I found my answer. My professor can create an account and give me administrator rights.

3. I probably will create a custom skill, but I saw that you can create an educational skill. This is only available in the US. Does theis mean, you cannot use it in other countries, or that the language is in enlish only? The first right?

4. If I implement the video player, will it output audio on devices which does not support video output, or will it not output anything?

5. It would be nice if you does not need an alexa device for running the skill, as not every student has one. You can install apps on smart phone and computer. Will it work on these devices? I tried it on my smartphone and was able to run some skills. But not sure if a video player skill would work?

6. For asking the skill, about facts, I plan to store something like a lookup table with the words and speakoutputs in S3. And then you can use S3 select on this file. Is this a good approach? I dont want to put all possible queries in the code. And you have to build a custom slot, with all possible search words, or?

7. DynamoDB is not part of the free Alexa hosted skill?

8. Once you have publish(certify) your skill, can you change the code without publishing again? Links have to be updated and also the lecture files.

It would be nice if someone can answer some or all of the questions.

Thank you!

account linkingcertificationaudioplayervideo skill apieducation-skills-api
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1 Answer

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Jason@Amazon answered

1.That's correct, you would need to use account linking. There are a lot of requirements specifically for OAuth - I'd check the documentation for more information:

2. That's correct - you could also use a hosted skill to host your code as well, removing the need for a separate AWS account, but you could also work out permissions for AWS accounts separately as well.

3. Educational skills are only available in the U.S. and are not available in other countries - specifically this is for the en-US locale, and not other English locales (such was en-GB, en-AU, en-IN etc.).

4. It will not output anything - you have to determine whether or not the device has a screen and change the response accordingly.

5. You would need a device that supports the VideoApp interface - the Alexa app does not support this, so you would need an Alexa-enabled device that supports video playback.

6. There's no specific recommendation here, but you have to define the slot values in your interaction model. If you don't want to use a custom slot, you can use a catalog-based slot or dynamic slots that change depending on what you want to offer.

There is the SearchQuery slot for less predictable input, but you would still need to handle all of in your backend.

7. DynamoDB is not part of hosted skills - only S3, the Lambda function, and CloudWatch. You would need your own AWS account in order to use DynamoDB.

8. You could technically update the backend without submitting the skill for certification, but any updates to the skill manifest (skill name, skill description etc.) would require submission for certification again.

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