Natural language interaction is the next frontier in the development of ubiquitous data and services. Chatbots are particularly promising, that is, machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces to data and service in social networks. To contribute to this field of high industrial and academic interest, we will establish a research community of critical mass (specialist circle) on human-chatbot interaction design. Here, we will combine and extend the state-of-the-art in human-computer interaction and machine learning. The specialist circle will have substantial impact through future European R&I projects (H2020), industry and public sector projects, knowledge networks, and education. A particular concern in the project is to realise the potential of chatbots to strengthen digital inclusion. Given their low threshold of interaction through natural language, and easy access e.g. through chat services, chatbots have the potential to lower thresholds for digital participation across gender, age, and socio-economic status. We will extend the state-of-the-art by addressing the need to establish and leverage knowledge of users and conversational context in human-chatbot interaction. For this purpose, we will apply machine learning to develop generative models and libraries of interaction patterns sensitive to user types and conversational contexts. Industry and public sector actors will be invited as data providers. The integration of machine learning in HCI also represent a needed complement to this field. Machine learning enables the development of generative interaction models, which in turn can be used to simulate interaction patterns and drive the analysis and (re)design of human-chatbot interactions. This will allow future HCI to utilize available large data sets in analysis and design of interactive systems in general, and natural language user interfaces in particular.
Project leader: Asbjørn Følstad
Category: Teknisk-industrielle institutter
Institution: Software and Service Innovation