Our demo was being built for an "Open House" for Intel's CEO Craig Barret, and the Chinese press. We managed to pull it all together and get it working at 3AM of that morning. And some people were worried ;-)
We converted an English spoken language system to Chinese, integrated it with ICRC's brand new speech recognition and text-to-speech systems (which had never been integrated with each other or with other software so we designed interfaces as we went.) We also integrated Chinese TV program data and Chinese videos and got it all working on a small network of computers hidden under the podium.
Here are the teams dressed up and ready to demo. First the text to speech
team: Jianghua Bao, Katherine Chen and Chu Min. These people made Ganymede
sound much better in Chinese than it ever sounded in English.
Here's a portion of the speech recognition team: Front row: Qing Guo and
Liu Jian, Back row: Qing Wei Zhao, Jia Ying, Dave Hicks (AKA Yang Guizi),
Lin Zhiwei and Baosheng Yuan.
Here's Han Jiang the day of the demo. He's looking remarkably well considering
that we finished at 3AM that morning and considering that he spent the night
there rather than go home. Han Jiang explained that he lived on the 20th
floor and his elevator operator went home at midnight so he would have had
to walk up
The first thing we learned in Beijing was "Yang Guizi". Baosheng taught us
that "Yang Guizi" meant "friend" but Chris and I thought it meant "foreign
devil" so I asked Edward to make us this special version of the the ICRC
"wallpaper" for the Chinese Press. When Baosheng saw it, he suggested that
his translation of Yang Guizi might be imperfect and we should only use that
wall paper if we were willing to take responsibility for it. (In the US we
call this "backpedaling".)
Here's a close up on the info card
Everything had been running perfectly since 3AM and then the system randomly crashed just before Craig and the video cameras walked over. After a high tension moment, we were able to reboot our computers and resume.
With the work over, it was time for a PARTY. Part of the Russian team is
Baosheng demonstrates how to drink a traditional Chinese liquor. I can't
remember the name but I believe the closest American taste is Turpentine.
It's very potent.
Jia Ying demonstrates the results of the liquor. I asked the next morning
if it was OK to put this picture on the web and he said "what picture?" Excellent