It's midterm season, but we at Almond team won't be distracted, and we're now proud to present Almond 1.3, a new release of the Almond platform, featuring stability and performance improvements, new features, and a preview of our state-of-the-art natural language understanding technology.
The main highlight of the new release is that we're officially opening the Thingpedia developer program to the public. Anyone can now create a developer organization by filling in a simple form, without lengthy manual approval.
We made this change after improving the stability and performance of the platform, which we now believe is ready for wider use. We hope to see many new contributors in Thingpedia!
Complementing the Thingpedia developer program, we wish to welcome everbody to our new Community Forum. We hope to use the forum as a platform for Almond user and developer support, but also for wider discussion of virtual assistant technology, research and market trends.
We're also releasing a preview of Genie, a toolkit that allows developers to build new parsers that can convert from natural language to executable code.
Genie was described in our new paper, Genie: A Generator of Natural Language Parsers for Compositional Virtual Assistants, which was conditionally accepted to the PLDI 2019 academic conference.
Genie is already in use as the backend of Almond, and we're now releasing it to the public as a command line tool (available on npm and pypi). In the future, we will integrate it further with Almond, and developers will be able to construct custom natural language models tailored to their use case, with custom natural language syntax and constructs.
The Almond platform has been updated to be more secure. We are introducing email validation and password reset, which should allow you to have stronger passwords.
We are also introducing an optional Two Factor Authentication, based on OTP and compatible with Duo Mobile and Google Authenticator. Everybody is strongly recommended to enable it (from the user settings page), which will protect the access to their Almond, and by extension the credentials stored in it.
This release does not stop the development of Almond. Our team is working on supporting new natural languages (starting from Chinese), supporting contextual commands and follow ups, a new interface to Almond from messengers like Slack, and a better experience for sharing data with privacy. Stay tuned for updates!