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Say it Like You Mean it: Priming for Structure in Caller Responses to a Spoken Dialog System

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In this paper we report results of a study undertaken to evaluate the initial prompts of ‘open prompt’ style call-routing applications. Specifically, we examined how placement and phrasing of examples in the initial query affected caller responses and routing success. We looked at the comparative effectiveness of placing examples before and after the initial query and of phrasing these examples such that they promoted either a succinct structure in the form of a keyword or phrase, or a more complex but natural structure in the form of a question or statement. Findings indicate that examples encouraging a more natural structure, when presented prior to the initial query, result in significantly improved routing performance. We discuss this result in the context of using initial prompts to prime for desired structure in caller responses.

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Sheeder, T., Balogh, J. Say it Like You Mean it: Priming for Structure in Caller Responses to a Spoken Dialog System. International Journal of Speech Technology 6, 103–111 (2003).

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