Smart home devices can be controlled via user commands to a virtual assistant. However, the need to issue explicit commands to the virtual assistant for tasks performed routinely in specific contexts limits the user experience. This disclosure describes a virtual assistant with the capability of proactively suggesting relevant domestic actions to smart home users. The suggested actions can be chosen from a database of relevant home automation actions. Each action in the database can be associated with relevant information regarding the context in which the action was performed. When a user’s context matches that for past actions recorded in a database, a virtual assistant can proactively ask whether the user would like to perform the corresponding action(s) and automate it in the future. Implementation of the techniques can enable a virtual assistant to anticipate home-related user needs and provide a proactively helpful user experience. Having routine domestic tasks suggested proactively in the right contexts along with the option to automate initiation of the actions in the same context in the future can enhance efficiency, convenience, and utility of smart home environments.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.