NLify: Third-Party Programming Support for Spoken Natural Language Interfaces

Seungyeop Han, Matthai Philipose, and Yun-Cheng Ju

Abstract

This paper presents the design and implementation of a programming system that

enables third-party developers to add spoken natural language (SNL) interfaces

to mobile applications. Existing systems either restrict SNL capabilities to

first-party applications or limit developer-defined spoken interactions to

keyphrases rather than broad natural language. An examination of expert workflow

reveals that the primary challenge is in gathering comprehensive sets of

paraphrases for each command and in selecting and tuning corresponding

statistical models for speech and language processing. We address the former

problem by integrating automated statistical machine paraphrasing and webscale

crowdsourcing into the developer workflow. We address the latter by developing a

classifier architecture designed to be robust across app domains. We have

realized our design fully as an extension to the Visual Studio IDE. Based on a

new benchmark dataset with 3500 spoken instances of 27 commands from 20 subjects

and a small developer study, we establish the promise of our approach and the

impact of various design choices.

Details

Publication typeTechReport
NumberMSR-TR-2012-128
> Publications > NLify: Third-Party Programming Support for Spoken Natural Language Interfaces