3. the interaction


Find out all you can about natural language interfaces. Are there any successful systems? For what applications are these most appropriate?


This exercise is intended to encourage personal research in the form of a brief literature survey. Appropriate places to begin such a search would be: general text books on artificial intelligence (e.g. Janet and Alan's An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence), which will include basic information on natural language processing and famous systems such as SHRDLU; proceedings from conferences such as the AAAI and specialist journals, which will have more up to date research papers in the area; proceedings of HCI conferences such as CHI, Interact and HCI, which will include natural language systems particularly geared towards the interface.

Other likely sources are popular journals such as BYTE and personal computer magazines, which are likely to review commercial systems. The student's response to the second part of the question will depend upon what is unearthed, but it is likely that the systems that they find out about operate in very constrained domains and that the natural language used is restricted. There are as yet no general purpose natural language interfaces.

Other exercises in this chapter

ex.3.1 (ans), ex.3.2 (ans), ex.3.3 (ans), ex.3.4 (open), ex.3.5 (open), ex.3.6 (tut), ex.3.7 (tut), ex.3.8 (open)

all exercises for this chapter