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System and Business Process of Using Natural Language Dialog with User Preferences Disclosure Number: IPCOM000016356D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Oct-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-21

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This invention describes a system and method for providing flexible dialog strategies to access information about products such as laptops, cars, or other merchandise, as well as parameterized services, such as web hosting (where response time might be one of parameters). This invention is an improved system, method and business method for providing one or more users with one or more modes of communication combined with natural language, as well as a mechanism that resolves conflicts resulting from the use of the modes of communication and/or inconsistent input, and accomodates user different preferrences for relaxation based on their different needs. The proposed system can merge a natual language input and one or more parametric inputs. This integration of multiple channels of information with user preferences is a unique characteristic of our system. The system can resolve possible conflicts, and return a list of ranked answers with explanations. The system integrates a human-computer communication system with a transaction processing system and data management subsystems supplying data, rules and parameters to guide the operation of the integrated interaction system. This is illustrated in Fig. 1 below. In an embodiment of the present invention, a system is presented having a dual or multiple input consisting of a set of preferences about some parameters of a collection of merchandise and a natural language dialog component. For example, if the merchandise is laptop computers, the parameters might be weight, price and screen size. Therefore a user can express numerically or using a graphical user interface his indifference to price and the importance of the screen size, and at the same time describe the intended function of the merchandise in natural language words, for instance “a machine good for showing promotional videos”. Upon the processing of the input, and mapping it into a set of technical parameters, the system presents the user with one or more laptops satisfying those criteria, ie. with enough processing power and memory. The user has then the option to buy his best choice on-line, and the transactional subsystem fulfills the order.