NYU ITP, Fall 2018, Mondays 6:30pm—9pm, Sept 10—Oct 22, Room 50

Instructor: Nicole He

Email: nicole.he [at]

Office Hours: Saturdays, 4-6 pm by appointment, book here

Homework: Submit homework here.. Due before class starts.


Computers are able to understand human speech better than ever before, but voice technology is still mostly used for practical (and boring!) purposes, like playing music, smart home control, or customer service phone trees. What else can we experience in the very weird, yet intuitive act of talking out loud to machines?

The goal of this course is to give students the technical ability to imagine and build more creative uses of voice technology. Students will be encouraged to examine and play with the ways in which this emerging field is still broken and strange. We will develop interactions, performances, artworks or apps exploring the unique experience of human and computer conversation.

Students will learn how to use text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies, voice assistant devices, generative text techniques, open speech APIs, Node.js, and conversational UI design. There will be weekly assignments leading up to a final project. ICM or comparable programming experience required.


Part Percentage
Homeworks (4) 40%
Attendance and Participation 35%
Final 25%


You are expected to show up on time for every class. Being regularly late will affect your grade. If you are going to be late or absent (for emergencies only), email me in advance. Having more than one unexcused absence is grounds for failure.


You are expected to talk not only with computers, but also with each other.

It’s important that you participate in class discussions and give thoughtful feedback to your classmates when they show their work. Your perspective is meaningful — especially with this experimental subject matter — since we are all learning together.


There will be four weekly homework assignments and a final project.

You are expected to keep a blog for this class, where you will post documentation of your weekly assignments and your final. You will submit a link to your homework via a Google form before class starts.

Using Devices in Class

Lids down when your classmate or your classmate’s computer is presenting. You can use your computers to look things up and take notes, but please avoid scrolling through your highly addictive social media feeds during class time.

Statement of Academic Integrity

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work as though it were your own. More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own: A sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer or a paraphrased passage from another writer’s work or facts, ideas or images composed by someone else.

Statement of Principle

The core of the educational experience at the Tisch School of the Arts is the creation of original academic and artistic work by students for the critical review of faculty members. It is therefore of the utmost importance that students at all times provide their instructors with an accurate sense of their current abilities and knowledge in order to receive appropriate constructive criticism and advice. Any attempt to evade that essential, transparent transaction between instructor and student through plagiarism or cheating is educationally self-defeating and a grave violation of Tisch School of the Arts community standards. For all the details on plagiarism, please refer to page 10 of the Tisch School of the Arts, Policies and Procedures Handbook, which can be found online at:

Statement on Accessibility

Please feel free to make suggestions to your instructor about ways in which this class could become more accessible to you. Academic accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities at 212 998-4980 for further information.

Statement on Counseling and Wellness

Your health and safety are a priority at NYU. If you experience any health or mental health issues during this course, we encourage you to utilize the support services of the 24/7 NYU Wellness Exchange 212-443-9999. Also, all students who may require an academic accommodation due to a qualified disability, physical or mental, please register with the Moses Center 212-998-4980. Please let your instructor know if you need help connecting to these resources.

© Nicole He 2018