How a Conversational Agent Might Help Farmers in the Field

2020 | Third International Workshop on Conversational Approaches to Information Retrieval (CAIR'20) Full-day Workshop at CHIIR 2020
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Scott Chapman
Yash Dang
David Lawrence


In this position paper,we look at howconversational search technology might be used to help farmers meet their increasingly demanding information needs. Agriculture has become more data-driven as a plethora of resources are available for farmers in making growing decisions. However, accessing, interpreting, collating and contextualising all these resources is a real impediment for farmers in the field. We posit that conversational search offers an attractive solution to this problem. In this paper, we categorise the unique information needs of farmers and explain some of the problems and challenges that these create from a search perspective. We show why conversational search offers a unique solution to these problems. The key components of a hypothetical conversational agent that meets farmers information needs are presented. Finally, we highlight how the agricultural domain actually offers an interesting and fruitful playing field for research on conversational search agents and encourage further work in this area.