Conversational AI 2-Dialogue System
WHAT IS A DIALOGUE SYSTEM?
Although dialogue systems have been around for a long time, it is only recently that they have become mainstream and a part of everyday life for billions of users. It is generally agreed that dialogue systems came in the year 2011 when Apple launched Siri, a personal assistant that supports spoken interactions with smartphone users. Since then dialogue systems have appeared in various forms, as chatbots on channels such as Facebook Messenger, as personal digital assistants on smartphones, for example, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Samsung’s Bixby. Various terms have been used to describe the dialogue systems that operate on these devices, including: Personal Digital Assistant, Virtual Personal Assistant, Conversational Agent, Chatbot, and Conversational User Interface. Rather than attempting to tease out fine distinctions between all these different terms, it is more productive to focus on what all of the terms mentioned here have in common, i.e., that they provide a new type of interface—a conversational user interface—that replaces the traditional graphical user interface. So now, instead of responding to text and images on a computer screen by clicking and selecting with a mouse, or on a mobile phone screen by using their fingers to tap, pinch, and scroll, users can interact with an interface that allows them to engage with applications in a conversational manner, i.e., by taking turns as in a dialogue.
WHY DEVELOP A DIALOGUE SYSTEM?
There are several reasons why researchers should wish to develop a dialogue system:
- To provide a low barrier entry for users, enabling them to interact in an easy way with services, resources, and data on the internet.
- From a Cognitive Science point of view to address the challenge of how to model human conversational competence computationally as a means of understanding and studying human behavior and social interaction.
- To simulate human conversational behavior so that the dialogue system might pass as a human, as in the Turing test.