A group of Cal Poly students are building an artificial intelligence voice assistant that aims to provide students and faculty with knowledge of courses, buildings, faculty and other campus information. 

The Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Club (CSAI) are curating their project NIMBUS to provide users with information about Cal Poly. NIMBUS has been in the works since Spring 2019 and the engineers hope to produce a beta version, which is a first version of a product made for testing, by Spring 2020. 

The team said that they have and continue to perform extensive data analytics campuswide to provide the most accurate information possible to users of this product. All data and software used to develop the project was collected and curated by the students involved. CSAI said they hope it will one day be able to be used by faculty and students across campus. 

NIMBUS was funded by the Cal Poly grant CPConnect. CSAI said this project has developed machine learning, database management, data analytics and software, hardware, mobile, and web development skills for the students involved. 

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Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Club | Courtesy

Comprised of a variety of engineering students, CSAI said they depend on the collaborative efforts of their team to make this project work. The development of NIMBUS is guided by project lead Chidi Ewenike, software/mobile development Lead Miles, software lead aikens Jason Ku,  data lead Michael Fekadu, web development lead John Waidhofer, natural language processing lead Richa Gadgil, test lead Cameron Toy, hardware lead Tyler Herzog and information infrastructure lead Austin Silveria. 

“I feel very fortunate to be working with the group of students that I’m currently working with. To see things come to fruition is really exciting,” Ewenike said. “It’s because of the brilliant group of students that we have and the unparalleled advising that we have from the professors that are helping us with this project.”

Professor Franz J. Kurfess, Foaad Khosmood and Wayne Pilkington are advisors to the students. Khosmood developed the Cal Poly concentrated idea when project lead Chidi Ewenike expressed interest in developing an AI project. 

“This project is a perfect example of what we do well here at Cal Poly,” Khosmood said. “I’m very impressed on how fast this is moving.”

When completed, the application will be available on hardware, mobile and web platforms. 

CSAI is a social and project based artificial intelligence club. They meet every Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. in Building 197-104 and every other Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon in Building 186-C100.

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