University of Twente Student Theses


Email-based Intelligent Virtual Assistant for scheduling (EIVA)

Chowdhary, A. (2020) Email-based Intelligent Virtual Assistant for scheduling (EIVA).

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Abstract:Manually setting up appointments by email wastes tens of hours every month for professionals, because several email exchanges are required before receiving confirmation. Since not everyone can afford to hire full-time assistants, Email-based Intelligent Virtual Assistants (EIVA) can help by automating this task. In the research described in this paper, a functional EIVA is developed based on research and industry best-practices. Users can simply add their assistant's address as 'CC' in an email, and EIVA will share the recommended location and time slots with guests automatically, based on the user's availability (determined using their calendar) and scheduling preferences. A companion web application was also developed to manage meetings and settings. The code is open source and was written in TypeScript with Node.js for the backend and Vue.js for the frontend, and deployed on Amazon Web Services in Europe. The product was built with a focus on data privacy and user personalization, through a series of feedback cycles with the external client, Speakup B.V. A user experience evaluation of EIVA was conducted with 30 participants that found positive reception. The average rating of the overall assistant was calculated to be 4.4 out of 5, and that of the web app was 4.5 out of 5. Users' behavior was also understood with the help of heatmaps and visualizations using pageview and mouse clicks tracking. All but one participants said that EIVA met their expectations, and 25 out of 30 would use it in the future if it launches as a service. Most would also be willing to pay for it, with an average amount up to €6.16 per month. Participants also shared their frustrations and feature recommendations. In the future, natural language processing-based classification should be improved and user recommendations can be implemented before launching EIVA as a service for consumers.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Speakup B.V., Enschede, Netherlands
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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