Programming Language Support for Natural Language Interaction

Published in SysML, 2018.

Alex Renda, Harrison Goldstein, Sarah Bird, Chris Quirk, Adrian Sampson. Paper

Modern conversational user interfaces depend on natural language understanding (NLU) engines, but integrating these capabilities creates a new category of engineering challenges. Developers write verbose, unsafe code to intermediate between NLU services and ap- plication logic, and ambiguous parses further complicate handling. We present a DSL for con guring an NLU model that ensures consistency and type safety, and we propose a new language construct to express ambiguity by exploring hypothetical actions.