Can Virtual Assistants Produce Recommendations?

Dimitrios Rafailidis*, Yannis Manolopoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


Virtual assistants, also known as intelligent conversational systems such as Google's Virtual Assistant and Apple's Siri, interact with human-like responses to users' queries and finish specific tasks. Meanwhile, existing recommendation technologies model users' evolving, diverse and multi-aspect preferences to generate recommendations in various domains/applications, aiming to improve the citizens' daily life by making suggestions. The repertoire of actions is no longer limited to the one-shot presentation of recommendation lists, which can be insufficient when the goal is to offer decision support for the user, by quickly adapting to his/her preferences through conversations. Such an interactive mechanism is currently missing from recommendation systems. This article sheds light on the gap between virtual assistants and recommendation systems in terms of different technological aspects. In particular, we try to answer the most fundamental research question, which are the missing technological factors to implement a personalized intelligent conversational agent for producing accurate recommendations while taking into account how users behave under different conditions. The goal is, instead of adapting humans to machines, to actually provide users with better recommendation services so that machines will be adapted to humans in daily life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWIMS2019: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event9th International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 26 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics
Abbreviated titleWIMS 2019
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


  • Virtual assistants
  • chatbots
  • conversational systems
  • recommendation systems

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