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Log In Sign Up Designing a Workflow-Based Scheduling Agent with Humans in the Loop

by   Justin Cranshaw, et al.

Although information workers may complain about meetings, they are an essential part of their work life. Consequently, busy people spend a significant amount of time scheduling meetings. We present, a system that provides fast, efficient scheduling through structured workflows. Users interact with the system via email, delegating their scheduling needs to the system as if it were a human personal assistant. Common scheduling scenarios are broken down using well-defined workflows and completed as a series of microtasks that are automated when possible and executed by a human otherwise. Unusual scenarios fall back to a trained human assistant who executes them as unstructured macrotasks. We describe the iterative approach we used to develop, and share the lessons learned from scheduling thousands of meetings during a year of real-world deployments. Our findings provide insight into how complex information tasks can be broken down into repeatable components that can be executed efficiently to improve productivity.


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