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The Rise of the Conversational Interface: A New Kid on the Block?

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNAI,volume 10341)


The conversational interface has become a hot topic in the past year or so, providing the primary means of interaction with chatbots, messaging apps, and virtual personal assistants. Major tech companies have been making huge investments in the supporting technologies of artificial intelligence, such as deep learning and natural language processing, with the aim of creating systems that will enable users of smartphones and other devices to obtain information and access services in a natural, conversational way. Yet the vision of the conversational interface is not new, and indeed there is a history of research in dialogue systems, voice user interfaces, embodied conversational agents, and chatbots that goes back more than fifty years. This chapter explores what has changed to make the conversational interface particularly relevant today, examines some key issues from earlier work that could inform the next generation of conversational systems, and highlights some challenges for future work.


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Correspondence to Michael F. McTear .

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McTear, M.F. (2017). The Rise of the Conversational Interface: A New Kid on the Block?. In: Quesada, J., Martín Mateos , FJ., López Soto, T. (eds) Future and Emerging Trends in Language Technology. Machine Learning and Big Data. FETLT 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 10341. Springer, Cham.

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