Building goal-oriented dialogue systems with situated visual context
Most popular goal-oriented dialogue agents are capable of understanding the conversational context. However, with the surge of virtual assistants with screen, the next generation of agents are required to also understand screen context in order to provide a proper interactive experience, and better understand users’ goals. In this paper, we propose a novel multimodal conversational framework, where the dialogue agent’s next action and their arguments are derived jointly conditioned both on the conversational and the visual context. Specifically, we propose a new model, that can reason over the visual context within a conversation and populate API arguments with visual entities given the user query. Our model can recognize visual features such as color and shape as well as the metadata based features such as price or star rating associated with a visual entity. In order to train our model, due to a lack of suitable multimodal conversational datasets, we also propose a novel multimodal dialog simulator to generate synthetic data and also collect realistic user data from MTurk to improve model robustness. The proposed model achieves a reasonable model accuracy, without high inference latency. We also demonstrate the proposed approach in a prototypical furniture shopping experience for a multimodal virtual assistant.