A reliable natural language interface to household appliances

TitleA reliable natural language interface to household appliances
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsYates, A., O. Etzioni, and D. Weld
ISBN Number1-58113-586-6
Keywordsappliance, database, natural language interface, planner

As household appliances grow in complexity and sophistication, they become harder and harder to use, particularly because of their tiny display screens and limited keyboards. This paper describes a strategy for building natural language interfaces to appliances that circumvents these problems. Our approach leverages decades of research on planning and natural language interfaces to databases by reducing the appliance problem to the database problem; the reduction provably maintains desirable properties of the database interface. The paper goes on to describe the implementation and evaluation of the EXACT interface to appliances, which is based on this reduction. EXACT maps each English user request to an SQL query, which is transformed to create a PDDL goal, and uses the Blackbox planner [13] to map the planning problem to a sequence of appliance commands that satisfy the original request. Both theoretical arguments and experimental evaluation show that EXACT is highly reliable