Intelligent Conversational Research Assistant

information technology and software
Intelligent Conversational Research Assistant (TOP2-288)
MATA - An Intelligent Assistant for the Earth Science Community
NASA Ames has developed a community-driven, context-aware intelligent research assistant system (MATA - Sanskrit name for the Earth) which is capable of engaging with users in a conversational manner using natural language dialogue, invoking external community-provided web services to obtain information or to perform actions, and vocalizes the responsive action back to the user. This novel patent-pending technology is an intelligent, virtual, personalized conversational research assistant system. Specifically designed for geospatial queries of Earth science data, this software application provides conversational computing, not just a conversational assistant. It is able to run on a personal computer or a mobile phone that facilitates user interaction with the system. This technology allows users to add new capabilities and new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so that it can be applied to a wide variety of applications.

The Technology
Previous virtual digital assistants (e.g., Siri®, Google Assistant®, Cortana®, Alexa®, etc.) allow users to speak requests to computers or mobile phones, which then perform speech-to-text recognition and execute web searches based on the content of the user's request. However, such systems cannot provide answers that are geospatially and space-time aware, for example, what the weather was like in San Francisco three days ago. In addition, typical virtual assistants only allow community users to indirectly influence system behavior through their queries. MATA provides a conversational assistant and associated computing to turn 40 years and hundreds of terabytes of Earth science of NASA Earth science data into usable knowledge. This system engages with users in an integrated, conversational manner using natural language dialogue, and invokes external web services, when appropriate, to obtain information and perform various actions on a variety of satellite and geospatial data to provide spatio-temporally aware answers. MATA is conversational computing, not just a conversational assistant. Broadly, this technology takes a query, translates that query into to an intent, then that intent invokes the right capability, which in turn invokes the right APIs for computations that take milliseconds. MATA does not simply retrieve an answer from a database, but it intelligently answers a user's question within its specific context.
Earth Science MATA - An Intelligent Assistant for the Earth Science Community
  • Users simply type a question or verbally ask the virtual digital assistant a question, and MATA will retrieve the appropriate data, perform any necessary computations, and respond in a conversational manner to the user
  • Enhances access to NASA's Earth science data and research results
  • Provides geospatially-aware answers to data queries
  • Handles scientific questions by dedicated scientific procedures developed by domain experts
  • Continuously integrates community intelligence, provides personalized research assistance in a conversational manner, and is geospatially and space-time aware
  • Designed for ease of use and implementation
  • Is scalable and its capabilities can be expanded easily by its users
  • Uses open source software
  • Prototyped in an operational environment
  • Allows users to add new capabilities and new APIs and could be implemented for other big datasets

  • Data Management
  • Geospatial data
  • Geospatial Analytics, and Weather Data & Forecasting (WD&F)
  • Disaster management
Technology Details

information technology and software
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