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Lessons from the Development of a Conversational Interface

Hickey, Marianne; Brittan, Paul St John


Keyword(s): speech; dialogue; wizard of oz; MIT GALAXY

Abstract: The design of an effective mixed initiative dialogue system still presents great challenges. This paper reports on the experiences gained in the design and implementation of an experimental spoken dialogue system, MIZIK, which revolves around a new domain, the music charts. It describes the processes we went through to: determine the development approach for a robust system; specify the scope of the domain; select an appropriate architecture and speech and language technology; collect training data specific to the domain and the target user population and, finally, to develop the experimental system. The paper concludes with a number of key lessons learnt during these processes, many of which are equally applicable to the design and development of any conversational speech interface.

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