Intelligent assistants recognize what users are looking for; and provide precise and relevant answers.
How do you go from the search system you have today, to one that serves as an intelligent assistant to customers, partners, and/or employees?
To begin with, you need to start looking at search as an application, rather than as an enterprise-wide utility. Searchers are always going to enter very little information about their query. It is the goal of the search system to ask the searcher what they mean, to probe about their intent or to present possible choices both before they search and throughout the process of reviewing results. This can’t be done in a general way for John Q. User.
So the first step, as with any serious application development project is to understand user’s requirements. The second step is to identify and map content to query intent.
Source: Earley & Associates