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With One Voice: Composing a Travel Voice Assistant from Re-purposed Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Voice assistants provide users a new way of interacting with digital products, allowing them to retrieve information and complete tasks with an increased sense of control and flexibility. Such products are comprised of several machine learning models, like Speech-to-Text transcription, Named Entity Recognition and Resolution, and Text Classification. Building a voice assistant from scratch takes the prolonged efforts of several teams constructing numerous models and orchestrating between components. Alternatives such as using third-party vendors or re-purposing existing models may be considered to shorten time-to-market and development costs. However, each option has its benefits and drawbacks. We present key insights from building a voice search assistant for Booking.com search and recommendation system. Our paper compares the achieved performance and development efforts in dedicated tailor-made solutions against existing re-purposed models. We share and discuss our data-driven decisions about implementation trade-offs and their estimated outcomes in hindsight, showing that a fully functional machine learning product can be built from existing models.


A Survey on Conversational Recommender Systems

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recommender systems are software applications that help users to find items of interest in situations of information overload. Current research often assumes a one-shot interaction paradigm, where the users' preferences are estimated based on past observed behavior and where the presentation of a ranked list of suggestions is the main, one-directional form of user interaction. Conversational recommender systems (CRS) take a different approach and support a richer set of interactions. These interactions can, for example, help to improve the preference elicitation process or allow the user to ask questions about the recommendations and to give feedback. The interest in CRS has significantly increased in the past few years. This development is mainly due to the significant progress in the area of natural language processing, the emergence of new voice-controlled home assistants, and the increased use of chatbot technology. With this paper, we provide a detailed survey of existing approaches to conversational recommendation. We categorize these approaches in various dimensions, e.g., in terms of the supported user intents or the knowledge they use in the background. Moreover, we discuss technological approaches, review how CRS are evaluated, and finally identify a number of gaps that deserve more research in the future.


How AI is changing how we travel

#artificialintelligence

If you don't know, it's likely that the artificial intelligence (AI) in your pocket does. From Google Maps and voice assistants to the scores of travel apps that make online booking easy and instant, AI is grabbing hold of the travel industry – and it's not letting go. There is a simple reason for this; the internet has made booking flights, hotels and rental cars a wholly online experience. So there's now big data on all of our travel habits, and it's allowing AI algorithms, customization and chatbots to spread.


How AI is changing how we travel

#artificialintelligence

If you don't know, it's likely that the artificial intelligence (AI) in your pocket does. From Google Maps and voice assistants to the scores of travel apps that make online booking easy and instant, AI is grabbing hold of the travel industry – and it's not letting go. There is a simple reason for this; the internet has made booking flights, hotels and rental cars a wholly online experience. So there's now big data on all of our travel habits, and it's allowing AI algorithms, customization and chatbots to spread. However, the travel industry does need to be careful not to go overboard with AI and chatbots.


How AI & Chatbot Apps Are Transforming The Mobile Technology? OpenMind

#artificialintelligence

As businesses are increasingly depending on mobile footprints, competition is getting fierce to remain visible and discoverable in the app marketplace. Effortless and smooth user experience remains to be the key for most apps to stand out in the competition. This is why intelligent Chatbots equipped with the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have emerged as the most important mechanism for superb user experience. AI-powered Chatbots continue to make a transforming appearance for an increasing number of mobile apps across the niches. AI as a deeply embedded technology fetches most relevant business data and insights that businesses can use for replying to customer queries in the most contextual and relevant manner.