Bringing multi-turn conversational user interfaces to search for task completion
Microsoft Development Center Norway (MDCN) is located in Oslo, Trondheim, Tromsø, and develops core technologies, products and services in Microsoft Office that are used by hundreds of millions of users every day. This topic will be carried out in close cooperation with Microsoft and MDCN employees.
Today, people mostly interact with search through typing keywords in a query box and being directed to a set of search results. There is little or no notion of a dialogue, and the use of natural language queries is limited. With the advent of voice input the latter changes, and with the advent of voice-controlled assistants and technologies such as those created by semanticmachines.com the former might be about to change, too. In Office, one application of search is to help find commands relevant to your current context that aid you in completing a task of some kind. This thesis explores the use of multi-turn conversational user interfaces in search for task completion. For example, queries might be longer phrases like “share the ODSP deck that Kathrine presented with Aleksander” or “find a biweekly 1-1 slot for me and Aleksander” or “tell the vacation tool that I’m on vacation all next week” and have it also set my out of office setting.