From Documents to Dialogues: Programming Technology for the Conversational Web

  • Van Cutsem T.

A paradigm shift is taking place on the Web. Users spend less and less time using browsers and more and more time using instant messaging applications. While originally designed to facilitate communication among humans, these platforms now position themselves as "next-generation browsers" to interact with services and businesses. They do this by offering the ability to extend their platforms with chatbots: applications that interact with the user through chat. This shift toward a dialoge-based mode of interaction will have a profound impact on the programming technologies that will be needed to effectively develop applications for the Conversational Web. While existing Web technology will continue to play an important role, new frameworks are emerging that facilitate dialogue-based interactions. There is also a growing need to extend explicitly programmed scripts with AI toolkits to bridge the gap between ambiguous humans and rigid APIs. We will discuss these trends, review today's state-of-the-art bot SDKs and AI toolkits, and highlight new opportunities where programming abstractions and program analyses can help developers in this rapidly evolving domain.

Recent Publications

January 01, 2019

Friendly, appealing or both? Characterising user experience in sponsored search landing pages

  • Bron M.
  • Chute M.
  • Evans H.
  • Lalmas M.
  • Redi M.
  • Silvestri F.

© 2017 International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2), published under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 License. Many of today's websites have recognised the importance of mobile friendly pages to keep users engaged and to provide a satisfying user experience. However, next to the experience provided by the sites themselves, ...

January 01, 2019

Analyzing uber's ride-sharing economy

  • Aiello L.
  • Djuric N.
  • Grbovic M.
  • Kooti F.
  • Lerman K.
  • Radosavljevic V.

© 2017 International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2), published under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 License. Uber is a popular ride-sharing application that matches people who need a ride (or riders) with drivers who are willing to provide it using their personal vehicles. Despite its growing popularity, there exist ...

January 01, 2019

The paradigm-shift of social spambots: Evidence, theories, and tools for the arms race

  • Cresci S.
  • Petrocchi M.
  • Pietro R.
  • Spognardi A.
  • Tesconi M.

© 2017 International World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2), published under Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 License. Recent studies in social media spam and automation provide anecdotal argumentation of the rise of a new generation of spambots, so-called social spambots. Here, for the first time, we extensively study this novel ...