It's Good to Chat? Evaluation and Design Guidelines for Combining Open-Domain Social Conversation with Task-Based Dialogue in Intelligent Buildings

Nancie Gunson, Weronika Sieinska, Christopher Walsh, Christian Dondrup, Oliver Lemon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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Abstract

We present and evaluate a deployed conversational AI system that acts as a host of a working public building on a university campus. The system combines open-domain social chat with task-based conversation regarding navigation in the building, live resource updates (e.g. available computers), and events in the building. We investigated the impact of open-domain social chat on task completion and user preferences by comparing the combined system with a task-only version. We find that there is no significant difference in task completion or several aspects of user preference between the two systems, but that users would be significantly happier to talk to the task-only system in the future. This suggests that the "walk-up" public setting and workplace nature of the environment creates a markedly different use case to the in-home, and more individual and private "companion/assistant" setting which is commonly assumed for systems like Alexa. We discuss the implications for the design of conversational systems in other public settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIVA '20: Proceedings of the 20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450375863
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020
Event20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Oct 202022 Oct 2020

Conference

Conference20th ACM International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents
Abbreviated titleIVA '20
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period20/10/2022/10/20

Keywords

  • voice assistants
  • smart speakers
  • chatbots
  • empirical studies
  • conversational agent
  • intelligent buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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