Conversational AI 4-PRESENT DAY DIALOGUE SYSTEMS
Whereas dialogue systems previously existed either on specially dedicated servers in academic and industrial research laboratories or as telephone-based voice user interfaces, now they can be encountered on a wide variety of platforms and devices that are available to the general public. Dialogue systems can take the form of messaging apps on smartphones, PCs, and tablets; they can act as personal digital assistants on smartphones; and more recently they are to be found as voice-based assistants on smart speakers.
DIALOGUE SYSTEMS ON MESSAGING PLATFORMS
The term chatbot re-emerged as the label for a new type of user interface that allows users to interact with services and brands using a conversational interface on their favorite messaging apps. One of the advantages of chatbots is that they can run on messaging applications such as Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack, Skype, Line, and WhatsApp that are widely used by millions of people to interact with friends, colleagues, and the services of companies.
DIALOGUE SYSTEMS ON SMARTPHONES
Dialogue systems on smartphones are often known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or Voicebots. Examples include Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant, Samsung’s Bixby, and others. A PDA on a smartphone supports a range of modes of interaction, including text input and output, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, as well as direct manipulation, for example, by allowing the user to make selections from a set of options by tapping.
DIALOGUE SYSTEMS ON SMART SPEAKERS AND OTHER DEVICES
Dialogues on smart speakers with assistants such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant are similar to those provided by PDAs on smartphones except that on some of the devices the interaction mode is voice-only. Recently, both Amazon and Google have released smart speakers with displays, such as Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub in which voice interaction is integrated with a visual display on touch-sensitive screens. Smart speakers have become extremely popular. Smart speakers are used for a wide variety of tasks. The most frequent tasks are similar to those provided by assistants on smartphones, such as requesting music, asking questions, and checking the weather.
DIALOGUE SYSTEMS IN CARS
Voice-based systems have become a standard feature in many new vehicles, motivated primarily by a need to keep people safe by allowing drivers to communicate with devices in the car without taking their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. Drivers can obtain directions, send emails, make phone calls, and play music using voice commands.
HOW CURRENT DIALOGUE SYSTEMS ARE DIFFERENT
Current dialogue systems have addressed many of the limitations of earlier systems:
- They can be developed and deployed on messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, or Skype that users are already familiar with.
- They work seamlessly across multiple devices and platforms.
- The user does not need to download and install separate apps for each application.
- The systems can often learn from experience in contrast with earlier systems that were static and did not alter or improve their behavior over time.
- Many systems, especially robot agents, have multi-modal interaction capability and they can effectively analyze gaze signals, gesturing, nodding, and body posture.
- A number of toolkits have become available that incorporate the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Natural Language Processing (NLP)