AI Meets Austen: Towards Human-Robot Discussions of Literary Metaphor

  • Natalie PardeEmail author
  • Rodney D. Nielsen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11626)


Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing formal education, fueled by innovations in learning assessment, content generation, and instructional delivery. Informal, lifelong learning settings have been the subject of less attention. We provide a proof-of-concept for an embodied book discussion companion, designed to stimulate conversations with readers about particularly creative metaphors in fiction literature. We collect ratings from 26 participants, each of whom discuss Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with the robot across one or more sessions, and find that participants rate their interactions highly. This suggests that companion robots could be an interesting entryway for the promotion of lifelong learning and cognitive exercise in future applications.



This material was based upon work supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant 1144248, and the National Science Foundation under Grant 1262860. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA

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