Designing for Naturalness in Automated Dialogues
Many of the automated telephone dialogue systems currently in commercial operation are intended to be used by the general public. This means that the typical human callers who use the system/s are essentially novice users who do not build up expertise over a period of time To cater for such a user group, designers strive to make their dialogues as ‘natural’ as possible. In this paper we discuss and illustrate what ‘naturalness’ means in the context of the kind of automated dialogues which are at present in operation. We present some examples from automated dialogues, focusing particularly on openings, closings, confirmations and repairs, and compare these with the way similar operations are carried out in human-human dialogues. We summarise a set of experiments carried out recently to investigate how callers respond to supposed ‘naturalness’ in automated dialogue systems, and we conclude with some comments which challenge current ideas about what really is ‘natural’ for an automated dialogue.
KeywordsAutomate System Dialogue System Interactional Material Speech Event Interactional Content
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