Smart Tourist Information Points by Combining Agents, Semantics and AI Techniques

Piedad Garrido, Javier Barrachina, Francisco J. Martinez, Francisco J. Seron

The tourism sector in the province of Teruel (Aragon, Spain) is increasing rapidly. Although the number of domestic and foreign tourists is continuously growing, there are some tourist attractions spread over a wide geographical area, which are only visited by a few people at specific times of the year. Additionally, having human tourist guides everywhere and speaking different languages is unfeasible. An integrated solution based on smart and interactive Embodied Conversational Agents (ECAs) tourist guides combined with ontologies would overcome this problem. This paper presents a smart tourist information points approach which gathers tourism information about Teruel, structured according to a novel lightweight ontology built on OWL (Ontology Web Language), known as TITERIA (Touristic Information of TEruel for Intelligent Agents). Our proposal, which combines TITERIA with the Maxine platform, is capable of responding appropriately to the users thanks to its Artificial Intelligence Modeling Language (AIML) database and the AI techniques added to Maxine. Preliminary results indicate that our prototype is able to inform users about interesting topics, as well as to propose other related information, allowing them to acquire a complete information about any issue. Furthermore, users can directly talk with an artificial actor making communication much more natural and closer.